Wildlife wins as Tesco customers vote

Friday 2nd December 2016

Lower Smite Farm garden (c) Wendy CarterHelp is needed to improve family visits to Lower Smite Farm

Wildlife will be the winner in a supermarket vote to help community groups in the county.

Shoppers in nominated Tesco stores are being invited to vote for their favourite of three projects that will ultimately help wildlife in Worcestershire. Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork on its Bags of Help initiative, which is seeing grants of £5000, £2000 and £1000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to environmental and greenspace projects.

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, Wychavon District Council and the Friends of Avon Meadows have all been chosen to bag a cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

The three projects are:

Wildlife Explorers at Lower Smite Farm

Family visit to Lower Smite Farm (c) Debs Richardson BullA recent poll commissioned by The Wildlife Trusts found that, in the last year, less than 50% of children have visited a wild place to learn about wildlife; producing a family trail booklet, providing backpacks full of wildlife fun and upgrading the picnic benches on site will help to improve the regular visits by schools and families.

Marissa Ryland, engagement officer for the Trust, explained “The benefits of children engaging and learning in natural outdoor settings are becoming increasingly well documented.

“We welcome more than 4000 children and their schools or families to Lower Smite Farm each year and would love to improve what we’re able to offer them – from designing a wildlife trail around the farm to upgrading our picnic benches.

“More people who experience wildlife will want to protect it.”

The Wildlife Explorers project would allow the Trust to design and print a family-specific trail for visitors to the farm as well as invest in backpacks for visitors to take with them that are filled with spotter sheets, magnifying glasses, bug pots, binoculars and more.

The wooden picnic benches at the Lower Smite Farm’s Education Centre need replacing and the Trust would like to purchase ones made from recycled bottles.

Droitwich Community Woods

Site of proposed hedge on Ombersley Way (c) Liz EtheridgeDroitwich Community Woods is a wonderful place for people and wildlife but it is surrounded almost entirely by roads, which can take away the sense of peace and tranquillity usually found in our nature reserves.

Wychavon District Council will work with volunteers from Worcestershire Wildlife Trust to plant 130m of new hedgerow, packed full of native plants that will provide flowers and fruit for wildlife, as well as transforming a patch of mown grass field into a flower-filled meadow.

Volunteers will also get involved in monitoring the success of the planting by seeing what new plants and animals colonise the newly planted areas from the nearby woods.

Liz Etheridge, Wildlife Projects Officer for Wychavon District Council, said: “Droitwich Community Woods is such a popular place for local people to visit and our project will help to transform quite an exposed section of nature reserve into a more pleasant place to walk, as well as creating a new wildlife corridor alongside a busy road.”

Friends of Avon Meadows

Friends of Avon Meadows (c) Liz EtheridgeThe Friends of Avon Meadows is a local voluntary group that cares for Avon Meadows, a local nature reserve and community wetland in Pershore. With a growing group of volunteers, the support from Tesco Bags of Help would allow the Friends to buy more tools and equipment to help them with their activities, as well as running events for families and improving volunteer skills in wildlife recording.

Richard Stott, Chairman of the Friends, said: “As a small community group, we rely on the generosity of the local community who support what we do by volunteering their time for lots of different activities.

“Through the Tesco Bags of Help scheme, we will be able to support them in return, with more tools, more equipment and greater access to training as well as sharing what we find so fascinating about Avon Meadows through wildlife-focussed events, with the help and support of experts from Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and Worcestershire Recorders.”

Shoppers in selected Tesco stores across the county will be able to vote for their favourite of three projects throughout December. Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out each time they shop.

Voting

Shoppers can vote in Tesco Express shops in Droitwich, Pershore, Warndon, Henwick Park and Foregate Street in Worcester and Brockhill and Lodge Park in Redditch as well as in Tesco Extra in Redditch and Worcester’s Warndon and St Peter’s stores.

Wendy Carter, Communications Manager for Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, explained “We’re all delighted to have been chosen to receive funding from Tesco; our projects are quite diverse but no matter which schemes receive the £1000, £2000 or £5000, it will be the wildlife that will ultimately win.”

Liz Etheridge, Wildlife Projects Officer at Wychavon District Council, added “In this season of goodwill, we wish the best of luck to all the projects nominated, knowing that each of them will make a big difference to their local environment and community.”

Lindsey Crompton, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “So far, Bags of Help has been a fantastic success.

“We are already seeing some great results from groups transforming their own environmental and greenspace areas and we’re thrilled to be providing thousands more groups with funding.”

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.

“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.”
 

Tagged with: Fundraising, Tesco Bags of Help