Tees Valley Wildlife Trust’s Wilder Coast project focuses on the coastline between Redcar and Saltburn. Supported by funding from Northumbrian Water’s environmental scheme Branch Out, the project has already delivered improvements to 9.3km of coastline and associated streams in 2021/22.
The new funding from the company’s bluespaces scheme, which sees it going above and beyond regulatory requirements to support and improve publicly accessible areas close to water, will see the Trust, partners and volunteers working across 17km of bluespaces in total, between now and 2024.
Work will include coastal water quality monitoring, as well as engagement with communities and volunteers across the Tees coastal area, to further help promote positive behaviours.
A designated Wilder Coast Project Officer has also been appointed to harness people’s passion for the coast through positive behavioural change, such as managing plastic waste and litter, as well as supporting the protection of internationally important coastal birds and their habitats.
Jeremy Garside, Chief Executive of Tees Valley Wildlife Trust said: “Working with Northumbrian Water, and thanks to their funding, we’ve already been able to make significant improvements for the benefit of these important coastal bird species and their habitats. We’ve engaged more than 1,100 people through activities and educational events, and we have more than 50 active volunteers.
“We’ve also been able to support Northumbrian Water’s Bin the Wipe campaign messaging, which can play an important part in helping to protect our coastline.
“This fresh funding, to help us continue this work to 2024, is a huge boost and we are really grateful for the support in driving these activities forward and delivering even greater benefits to this area.”
Mike Madine, Northumbrian Water’s Head of Wastewater Service Planning, Quality and Performance, said: “When we launched bluespaces, to enable us to deliver even more protection and enhancements for our region’s water environments, it was with the intention of working with partners like Tees Wildlife trust on projects like Wilder Coast.
“Supporting projects like this allows us to do far more than we could do alone, and achieve things that go above and beyond what our regulators require of us, which is a fantastic thing to be able to do.
“We are very happy to once again be supporting the Wilder Coast project, because it combines our own passion for protecting these coastal habitats and wildlife with that of our customers and we look forward to seeing it deliver even more great things over the next two years.”
Northumbrian Water’s Bin the Wipe campaign aims to encourage people to stop flushing wipes, which are found in more than 60% of sewer blockages. Such obstructions in the pipes can cause waste to be forced back into people’s homes or out into the environment.