Crowdfunding success!

Tower Hide Open for visitors at Shapwick Heath


Late last year Natural England launched a campaign to raise funds for a new hide at Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve. The tower hide will be located on the main track through the reserve and will look out over the “Scrape”, which is a great site to see waders, and “70 acres”, which is a vast reedbed loved by Marsh Harrier, Bittern and Bearded Tit.

With reserve budgets tight and needing to cover its priority habitat condition work, the Natural England team at Shapwick Heath decided to try ‘crowdfunding’ as an innovative way to raise the money needed. The new hide will complement the existing hides which are becoming increasingly popular. With over 80,000 visitors a year, many regular visitors and a team of dedicated volunteers crowdfunding was seen as a way to harness the huge enthusiasm that exists for the area and the reserve and create a facility that will bring enjoyment to many.

To quote Natural England: “we were absolutely blown-away by the response we received! We not only met our target of £12,500 but exceeded our stretch target of £15,000 to eventually raise just over £17,500 to fund this fantastic project. We’d like to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone who shared, contributed and supported the campaign. We now have a tight schedule to get the hide built which will hopefully be in the Spring.”

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