Humber wildfowling club secures £100,000 loan to create wetland oasis

BARTON ON HUMBER WILDFOWLERS CLUB will turn 16 acres of arable farmland into a thriving wetland habitat after securing a £100,000 loan from The Wildlife Habitat Charitable Trust (WHCT).

The club, formed in 1967, will purchase 15.82 acres of land on the Humber Estuary after securing the financial support from the WHCT, the grant-giving arm of the Wildlife Habitat Trust (WHT) set up by BASC.

After a site visit from the Humber Nature Partnership (HNP), the open farmland was identified as ideal habitat for high tide wader roosting.

Tim Russell, WHT secretary and director of conservation at BASC said: “The Humber Estuary is an important site for wildlife, some of which is facing pressure from development and natural processes.

“Barton on Humber Wildfowlers understand the value of providing habitat adjacent to the estuary to benefit wildlife.

“The club has shown their willingness to build strong partnerships by working with the Humber Nature Partnership and local wildlife recorders. Together they will transform this bare, arable land into an important site for wildlife, whilst recording the species that start to use it.”

Before starting work, the club will commission an ecological survey and work with the HNP on a management plan to increase wildlife. It is likely the site will be managed as open grassland with scrapes, making it particularly attractive to waders.

The estuary is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Area (SPA), and a Ramsar Site.

The estuary is also an important industrial area and trade gateway, with an average of 40,000 ship movements per year, which puts pressure on wildlife. Coastal squeeze is adding to difficulties faced by wildlife.

Roy Hodsdon, secretary of Barton on Humber Wildfowlers Club, said “This is an exciting project which will show how arable land can be changed into an attractive wetland habitat suitable for a wide variety of wildlife.

“Our members believe this is a wonderful opportunity for such a small club to be the first BASC-affiliated club in the area to have the chance to work with the Humber Nature Partnership and BASC on creating this habitat conservation area.”

Darren Clarke, manager of the Humber Nature Partnership, said: “HNP works with a range of organisations including government agencies, wildlife charities and private businesses around the Humber to help protect and enhance the estuary’s internationally important wildlife interests.

“We are pleased the club has secured the necessary funds to purchase this land. Schemes such as this provide vital additional habitat for a variety of wildlife and the club are to be applauded for their efforts in securing the funding.

“Part of the land already managed by the club is recognised as a grassland and marsh Site of Importance for Nature Conservation, meaning that it is a wildlife site of national importance.

“The club’s intention to engage with the local ecological recording community to survey and monitor the site’s development will help to ensure the site’s management is effective and that its importance for wildlife is properly recognised. HNP looks forward to hearing more about the site as it develops.”



WHT loan helps wildfowling club buy land it has shot over for 50 years

THE Wildlife Habitat Trust (WHT) has given Clevedon Wildfowling Association a £35,000 loan to buy land it has shot over for more than 50 years.

The purchase of 13.80 acres of grazing and a pond in Kingston Seymour, North Somerset, will allow the club to carry out conservation work and manage shooting opportunities.

Club treasurer Jon-Paul Humberstone said: “Yet again, we are extremely grateful to the WHT for continued support of our land and sporting rights acquisition programme. The club has shot over this land for in excess of 50 years and by purchasing it we have further secured the future of wildfowling in the local area for generations to come.

“This most recent purchase is in very close proximity to a previous purchase which was also facilitated by a WHT loan.

“We are great advocates of wildfowling clubs purchasing land or sporting rights at every opportunity. Being a stakeholder not only secures your sport but also enables you to engage further with neighbouring landowners and government bodies that also have an interest in the local area.”

The WHT is dedicated to raising and distributing funds to help with the acquisition of land for conservation and shooting. It was established in 1986 by members of the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).

Tim Russell, WHT secretary and director of conservation at BASC, said: “I am delighted the club has been successful with this land purchase. The club has an excellent record of buying land and improving the habitat for wildlife.

“I have visited one of their previous purchases and seen a wide range of plants and animals that would not exist without their careful stewardship. It is always good to see success result in more success and I am pleased the WHT has once again helped this club.”

More information about Clevedon Wildfowling Association can be found here.

£67,000 loan helps to assist with the purchase of 24 acres Ash Plantation at Chattenden Woods

The Wildlife Habitat Trust (WHT) has granted a loan of £67,000 to Chattenden Syndicate Ltd towards the purchase of 24 acre Ash Plantation at Chattenden Woods, Chattenden, Rochester, Kent.

The purchase by Chattenden Syndicate will allow the syndicate to improve the quality of habitats on the site by coppicing and improving the state of the woodland. The area is very important for breeding Nightingales and at the same time the purchase will also improve the shooting quality for the syndicate.

Club secretary David Thorpe said: “we are delighted to have made this purchase, which is our third in the area. Ash Plantation is part of the Lodge Hill SSSI and over the last fourteen years we have leased the sporting rights and carried out various management for and on behalf of private owners. When various sections came on the market we were able to purchase them from within the syndicate. This last purchase was very important to us strategically, but with today’s land prices was beyond the means of the syndicate alone. We are very grateful to WHT for providing the balance of funds for this type of venture at an affordable return rate. We are in the process of forming a management plan with NE and the Forestry Commission which will see controlled coppicing of the area. This will greatly enhance the habitat, conservation and wildlife of the site. In addition I would add that the feeling of security we now have is a great position to be in. We can carry out not only our sport, but the total management of an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in an ever growing world of concrete in North Kent”.

Tim Russell, WHT secretary and director of conservation at BASC, said: “I am delighted the WHT has been able to make this loan to benefit game shooting. The purchase of this woodland will be of lasting benefit to the syndicate and to the woodland habitat and the wildlife that depend on it. The WHT is there to help with the purchase of land for all types of shooting and conservation.”

For more information about Chattenden Syndicate membership contact the club by email.

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