New Upton Warren hide needs your votes

Monday 24th October 2016

Birdwatching at Upton WarrenBirdwatching at Upton Warren

The county’s largest wildlife conservation charity is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust is hoping to secure enough votes in two Tesco stores to help disabled visitors to their popular Upton Warren Wetland Reserve by constructing an accessible birdwatching hide.

Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork on its Bags of Help initiative, which is seeing grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to environmental and greenspace projects.

Andy Harris, conservation officer for the Trust, explained “It’s fantastic news that Tesco and Groundwork have chosen us as one of the three projects in this area.

Kingfisher (c) Karen Summers“Upton Warren gets in excess of 7000 visitors each year – last weekend alone more than 1000 people visited when a rare bird stopped there for a week during its migration.

“We’ve been working with a small organisation, Birding For All, that promotes access to birdwatching sites for people with disabilities to ensure that anything we construct is suitable for them.

“Of course, the more votes and money we receive, the better the hide will be!”

Upton Warren, between Droitwich and Bromsgrove, already has a network of hides looking over the 26 hectare wetland but only two have any access for wheelchairs.

The proposed new hide would overlook a pool that currently has no birdwatching facilities and could bring visitors closer to birds such as kingfishers, reed warblers and bitterns.

Shoppers to Tesco Express stores in Droitwich and Pershore will be able to vote for their favourite of three projects between Monday 24th October and Sunday 13th November. Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out each time they shop.

£11.7m invested in local projects

This is the second round of the intiative: the first round saw approximately eight million shoppers vote in stores up and down the country earlier this year.

Lindsey Crompton, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “The first round of the Bags of Help initiative was a fantastic success.

“In total 1,170 community groups were awarded £8,000, £10,000 or £12,000 - that’s a massive £11.7 million being invested into local projects.

“We are already seeing some great results from groups transforming their own environmental and greenspace areas.

“We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for round two. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see them come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Groundwork’s national Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “Bags of Help is giving our communities both the funding and the support to create better, healthier and greener places for everyone to enjoy.

“We’ve been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding, ranging from outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, community gardens, play areas and everything in between.

“They’re all fantastic projects that make a real difference in our neighbourhoods.

“We’re looking forward to learning the results of the customer vote and then supporting each group to bring their project to life.”

Tesco Bags of Help logo

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