Posted: Sun 19th May 2024

‘Our Dee Estuary’ project launches new educational online hub

Wrexham.com for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

A community conservation project working across the Welsh and English coasts of the Dee Estuary has launched a new website.

The Our Dee Estuary project, funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and made possible thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, has brought together all the information it has gathered over the past two and a half years about this important coastal location for use by locals and tourists alike.

Our Dee Estuary is a cross-border partnership project led by Cheshire Wildlife Trust, on behalf of the Tidal Dee Catchment Partnership.

Project staff, together with the 11 core partner organisations said they wanted to create a website that would inspire, educate, and motivate people from the surrounding communities to become stewards of their local coastal environment and to help care for it now and into the future.

Emily Lake, the Senior Project Officer for the Our Dee Estuary project says: “I am very proud of then resource we have created through this website.

“I hope it will be used by the whole community to connect with their coastal and marine spaces.

“As a community conservation project, we know that getting people out into these spaces to connect with nature will encourage them to want to proactively care for nature, whether that’s joining in on a beach clean or having their household plumbing checked for misconnections, it all contributes towards a healthier, richer marine environment.

“We worked closely with all 11 project partners to make sure that the website is a comprehensive, one stop shop, of information for the Dee Estuary whether you are a teacher or a parent looking for educational resources, a tourist looking for activities to do on your summer holidays at the beach, a local wildlife enthusiast seeking out new wildlife hotspots, or just a local resident wanting to know more about your local area.”

Neil Smith, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Senior Conservation Officer, said: “A major focus of the Our Dee Estuary project has been to make the special habitats and species of the Dee Estuary more accessible and meaningful to the people who live, work, or visit the area.

“The new website will certainly help achieve this by providing an easily accessible route to help people both discover and value this truly unique area.”

Dr Graeme Cotterill, Head of Strategy and Operations for North Wales Wildlife Trust, said: “This new website about the Dee Estuary is a great resource that showcases how all the different organisations and groups are working together to highlight this important natural feature in our region, help people to explore it and to see how they can help protect it for the future.”

Helen Featherstone, Director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “It is fantastic to see this milestone reached in the ‘Our Dee Estuary’ project.

“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, this new website will be a wonderful resource for local people to learn about the wildlife-rich coastal landscape that is right on their doorstep.

“It is vital that we value, rebuild, and protect our natural heritage so it is sustained for the future, and this project has that at its core.”

The website will complement the wider work of the Our Dee Estuary project, which includes:

  • Wildlife surveys on the English and Welsh sides of the estuary monitoring grayling butterfly and natterjack toad.
  • Delivering a wide range of events across both sides of the Dee Estuary on topics such as geology, archaeology, and history.
  • Protecting and managing Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s only coastal nature reserve, Red Rocks Marsh on the Wirral.
  • A clean water campaign, working alongside United Utilities and Dwr Cymru | Welsh Water, reaching out to local businesses and residents to help improve the water environment in and around the Dee Estuary.
  • A teacher training programme to encourage schools and teachers to get their students learning about the Dee Estuary and its wildlife.
  • A coastal recreation initiative to educate people on how to enjoy the coast safely alongside its resident wildlife.

Photo credit – Robin Rowe

 



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