Colne Conservation Collaboration

Monday 6th June 2016

Colne Conservation Collaboration

Essex Wildlife Trust has teamed up with Tesco, DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs), Colchester Town Council, Keep Britain Tidy, Essex County Council, East Mersea Beach Care, The Conservation Volunteers, Colchester Canoe Club, Wivenhoe Canoe & Kayak Club, Braintree District Council and more, to make Wednesday 8 June an extravaganza of conservation volunteering along the River Colne. The day ties in with World Oceans Day.

Events organised stretch from Castle Hedingham, via Halstead, Colchester and Wivenhoe, to the sea at Mersea Island, as follows:

  • Colchester / Wivenhoe / Rowhedge: Litter pick, led and organised by Tesco, with volunteers from Tesco, DEFRA, Colchester Town Council and Braintree District Council. 9am-1.30pm; starting from Tesco Hythe CO1 2TE; litter picking session between Hythe/Rowhedge and Hythe/Wivenhoe.

Further events:

  • Castle Hedingham: Dragonfly and damselfly survey, led by Essex Wildlife Trust. 10.00am-1.00pm, from Nunnery Street, Castle Hedingham CO9 3DP.
  • Fordham: Water Vole and Otter survey, led by Essex Wildlife Trust. 10.00am-1.00pm, Fordham Hall nature reserve CO6 3LZ.
  • Colchester: Litter pick, led by Colchester Canoe Club. Evening event carried out by members of the canoe club.
  • Wivenhoe: Litter pick, led by Wivenhoe Canoe & Kayak Club. Evening event, carried out by members of the canoe club.
  • Roman River (south of Colchester): Invasive species removal – clearing Himalayan Balsam, led by Essex Wildlife Trust. 9.30am-1.00pm, from Friday Woods car park, CO2 0DF.
  • Fingringhoe Wick: Coastal bird survey, led by Essex Wildlife Trust. 10.00am-2.00pm; Fingringhoe Wick nature reserve, CO5 7DN.
  • Mersea Island: Litter pick, seaweed search, wildlife talks and more, led by Keep Britain Tidy and Essex Wildlife Trust, supported by Essex County Council and East Mersea Beach Care. 10.30am-1.00pm; from Cudmore Grove Country Park, CO5 8UE.

Altogether, it is expected that more than 300 volunteers will be taking part, including more than 100 from Tesco – some locally-based, others from head office – and a team of lawyers from DEFRA.

Anyone wishing to volunteer on the day should contact Essex Wildlife Trust’s Emily Godfrey at emilyg@essexwt.org.uk or on 07581 580575.

“The Colne is a fabulous river, home to important wildlife and enjoyed by thousands of people, from canoeists to conservationists,” Andy May, Conservation Manager at Essex Wildlife Trust, said. “Maintaining its natural beauty is a priority for everyone and we are thrilled to have so many volunteers joining us - and have the capacity to welcome many more. It promises to be an effective and fun day. It’s a superb example of the large-scale, concerted conservation that is at the heart of our visions of ‘Living Landscapes’ and ‘Living Seas’, which aim to make Essex an even better place for wildlife and people, too.”

Faye Cooper, Tesco Community Champion says: “Our customers care passionately about conservation in Colchester and the Colne is a local gem in need of some attention. We hope lots of people from Colchester and beyond will get involved and become Colne cleaners for the day.”

□ Refreshments for the volunteers have been provided by Tesco, with paper cups from Costa Coffee.