Nikki Hills, Sussex Wildlife Trust’s Seaford Community Wildlife Project Officer will soon become a familiar sight as she cycles around the town leading various community activities all with an environmental or wildlife led theme.
Sussex Wildlife Trust has been awarded a generous Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Our Heritage grant of £97,500 over two years to deliver the Seaford Community Wildlife Project thanks to National Lottery players.
The Mayor of Seaford, Councillor Linda Wallraven, attended the launch at Annecy Catholic Primary School. She met Paul Gallagher Interim Deputy Headteacher at Annecy and some of the children who will be cycling or scooting with Nikki to take part in nature -themed activities on the beach or at Seaford Head Nature Reserve. She was joined by her consort Liz Holland, Jim Howell, Chairman, Seaford Natural History Society, Ryan Greaves, Sussex Wildlife Trust Learning and Engagement Oficer and volunteers Marion Lace and Tony Delaney who will be working with Nikki to deliver the Project.
After the cyclists had met the Mayor, children from Emerald Class spent time outside in the school grounds learning how to whittle sticks to make bug hotels, how to use a bow saw to cut wood for insect homes and how to identify the ‘mini beasts’ they uncovered when looking through leaf litter and under logs in their wild area.
Thanks to National Lottery players, Sussex Wildlife Trust will be able to undertake conservation work on Seaford Head Nature Reserve, make improvements to local greenspaces in the town and provide new interpretation and information about the wealth of natural heritage to be found in the town. It will work with schools delivering “Wild Beach” sessions, create ranger groups for young people to engage in nature conservation and provide opportunities for local groups and the community to volunteer and take part in walks, talks and wildlife activities.
Nikki said, ‘Children at schools like Annecy Primary will be able to cycle with me and my volunteers to the beach or nature reserve to enjoy Wild Beach sessions. At the Beach they will learn about tides, shingle, the plants and wildlife you can find on the strandline and also about the creatures living below the waves.
‘I will also visit schools and community groups, working with people of all ages and helping them to find out about and encourage wildlife living in their patch. I will also be helping to develop ‘wild’ areas within school grounds.’
Pete Crawford, Director of Learning and Engagement at Sussex Wildlife Trust said: ‘We are delighted to be the beneficiaries of this grant from HLF and we’d like to thank the National Lottery players who have enabled Sussex Wildlife Trust to take this project forward. People living in Seaford will learn more about the wildlife and history on their doorstep and there will be plenty of chances for them to take part in enjoyable activities to learn about and conserve their natural heritage for the future.’
James Corrigan from Seaford Town Council said: ‘This is excellent news and follows closely on from Seaford Town Council and Sussex Wildlife Trust entering into a long term lease at Seaford Head Nature Reserve to enable the Trust to properly manage this wonderful area. Seaford Town Council is confident that this project will be beneficial not only for the nature reserve itself but also for the residents of Seaford. Well done to everyone involved.’
To find out more about Nikki’s community work in Seaford please ring her on 07943 504479 or visit www.sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/seafordproject
All images © Miles Davies