ALL creatures great and small have benefitted from a National Lottery grant in South Tyneside.
Members of the Coastal Conservation Group (CCG) know it’s not just people who can be helped out by a cash boost.
In January 2011 the group applied for, and were later awarded £38,403, to improve Whitburn Point Nature Reserve, off Coast Road.
The money was used to fill up two dried-up wildlife ponds with fresh water for the first time in a decade.
Dougie Holden, chairman of the CCG, said: “We identified a lack of costal freshwater as being a major problem in helping to improve the local wildlife habitats.
“Funding for the ponds wasn’t even discussed during the early days, as we had considered doing it ourselves, but we soon realised the enormity of the task and realised this was our only option. Thankfully, applying for the grant proved to be the right decision as we had JCBs on site for best part of two weeks.”
The money was also used to create a feeding station for birds, complete with viewing hide and information point.
Since its completion 18 months ago, the site has had plenty of creatures visiting – including some very rare migratory birds such as the wood sandpiper, the greenshank and wryneck who stopped by to have a “rest and refuel”.
There has also been successful on-site breeding of reed warblers, sedge warblers and grasshoppers.
Mr Holden said: “The successful completion of the project has certainly helped establish the good name of the CCG with working partners and the wider community.”
He added: “I think it’s safe to say the project wouldn’t have gone ahead without the kind support and generosity of the Lottery.”