£5,000 WHCT grant helps Norfolk habitat restoration

The Wildlife Habitat Charitable Trust (WHCT) has awarded a grant of £5,384 to Heacham and north west Norfolk Wildfowlers to assist with habitat restoration and improvement work on Heacham Marsh within the Snettisham Coastal Park.

The money will allow the club to continue clearing waterways of overgrown reeds and brambles while improving access for ongoing maintenance and upkeep.

The club hopes to provide a wide range of duck species with nesting opportunities by installing nest boxes and tubes and in opening up the space hopes to encourage bog plants to flourish.

Marsh warden Darren Whitmore said: “I would like to thank the WHCT for the grant towards the work at Snettisham and Heacham Marsh to encourage both non-quarry species to the water and help preserve our habitats for wildfowling. Once again thank you BASC and the WHCT for your support.”

This is the third time the WHCT has assisted this project, having granted the club £2,500 in 2013 and £2,850 in 2014.

Paul Williamson, BASC’s head of land management and secretary to the WHCT, said: “The WHCT trustees are pleased to once again provide grant support to the Heacham and north west Norfolk Wildfowlers as they continue their habitat restoration work.

“The club’s commitment to conserving and managing the area will not only encourage nesting wildfowl species but will help the wider eco-system. It is rewarding to see the progression of this project, demonstrating how the WHCT grants can benefit shooting and conservation. We commend the club for their efforts and wish them every success in the future.”

The Wildlife Habitat Charitable Trust welcomes both national and international grant applications and is keen to support projects which target the conservation of known breeding habitats of the UK’s migratory species. Established in 1986 by members of the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), to date the WHCT has awarded grants of over £200,000.

WHCT grant helps to protect the common pochard in Lithuania

The Wildlife Habitat Charitable Trust (WHCT) is giving 18,000 euros to a project to protect the habitat and breeding grounds of the common pochard in Lithuania.

Land use changes in Lithuania have threatened the lakes and wetland habitats favoured by breeding pairs of this migratory duck species and its numbers throughout Europe have declined.

The project is a continuation of ongoing work on the Nemunas River delta and will allow for the restoration and sustainable management of key breeding habitats and also the designation of important moulting sites in the Baltic region.

Dr Saulius Svazas, project co-ordinator, said: “This project supported by the WHCT is important for sustainable management of common pochard in Eastern Europe.

“It is necessary to designate the key moulting sites of common pochards in Eastern Europe as conditions in sites supporting large numbers of ducks can impact the overall population trends.”

Paul Williamson, secretary to the WHCT, said: “On behalf of the WHCT trustees I would like to thank Dr Svazas for his thorough and comprehensive application.

“Once again the WHCT is pleased to assist this vital conservation work on the Nemunas River Delta and wish the team every success as they strive to sustain the habitats of not only the common pochard but also the safeguarding of other wildfowl species.”

Over the last ten years, trustees of the WHCT have made grants totalling over £80,000 to international projects. These include habitat restoration projects on stopover sites for migratory wildfowl in Lithuania, Belarus and the Kaliningrad region of Russia. These projects have proved extremely successful as they have improved the habitat significantly.

The Wildlife Habitat Charitable Trust welcomes both national and international grant applications and is keen to support projects which target the conservation of known breeding habitats of the UK’s migratory species.

Established in 1986 by members of the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) to date the WHCT has awarded grants totalling £181,775.

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