Apologies for this non-Blashford related post, but I’d like to take a moment to promote the work of our colleagues seeking to protect the Solent’s marine wildlife who are trying something new for HIWWT and need our help to make it the success we would all like it to be… and actually with all of the bird movements that take place seasonally between the coast and Blashford Lakes, “our” wildlife on the nature reserve could very well benefit directly from this anyway!
Feisty green shore crab © Samuel Chamberlain
We have an amazing opportunity right now to unlock vital funds to safeguard the Solent and its wildlife but we need your help.
Yesterday Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust launched our first ever crowdfunder appeal. It is in support of our marine project Secrets of the Solent and will be raising money that will help us unlock £640,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Crowdfunders work by creating a buzz online and through social media so please take a moment to have a look at our crowdfunding page, make a donation if inspiration takes you, but please share with your own friends through facebook, twitter or email to help us tell more people about this exciting new project.
Every £1 we raise gives us the chance to unlock an extra £9.85 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will allow us to work with local people and partners to protect the Solent.
Over the next four years the project will connect local communities and sea users with the wildlife beneath the surface. Although the Solent is incredibly busy, many people are not aware of the incredible seascapes and species just off shore. Seagrass meadows, chalk reefs and rocky sponge gardens are home to seahorses and sea bass, seals, colourful anemone, sea squirts and cuttlefish.
We know that our marine environment is under huge pressure and that there has been a rapid decline in some important species and habitats in recent years. We’ve reached a tipping point and need to mobilise people in support of the sea and encourage them to act in ways that protect our marine wildlife. To do this, we have to ensure that more people understand and appreciate what’s really at stake.
The Secrets of the Solent project will:
- Roll out citizen science programmes to gather data about what is on our shores and in our sea. We can use this data to call for further marine protections and better management of designated areas.
- We will recruit and train ‘marine champions’ – working with schools, local businesses and other organisations to build an army of volunteers who can help safeguard the Solent and share their passion with others.
- We will work with fisheries and other partners to promote sustainable fish and seafood.
- Finally, we will bring to the surface the incredible species and lives of the Solent through street art, photography and film and make sure as many people as possible get to know about the spectacular secrets of the Solent.
We’re really excited about this opportunity to help change the fortunes of our marine wildlife and ensure that the Solent stays wild and wonderful for generations to come.
More information can be found at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/wildandwonderful
Please support our campaign if you can.
Harbour seal © Chas Spradbery