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Grant will help recruit an army to care for the coast

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Volunteers collecting litter on Alnmouth beach Photo: Iain Robson

Coast Care, an initiative that will recruit and train an army of volunteers to look after the North Northumberland Coastal area, has been awarded a grant of £522,600 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

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Coast Care is a partnership initiative bringing the Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership, Northumberland Wildlife Trust and Seahouses Development Trust together to oversee the project.

Made possible by National Lottery players, the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will enable Coast Care to employ a small staff team to recruit and support volunteers who will help care for this special place.

The staff team will be based in Seahouses in the heart of the Coast Care area and it is anticipated that a project co-ordinator will be recruited early in 2017.

The Coast Care area is the coastal landscape from Amble in the south to Berwick in the north and stretching west as far as Lowick, Belford and Alnwick.

The Northumberland coast is a very special place and working together like this we can make sure it remains so.

Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East told us that thanks to money raised by National Lottery players the HLF are very pleased to be able support Coast Care.

The project will increase capacity to look after  the landscape by effectively ‘match making’ volunteers with volunteering opportunities and co-ordinating effort so that, collectively, local people, communities and visitors are able to contribute to the management of their amazing natural and cultural heritage. Training, support and resources will be provided to enable as many people as possible to contribute and to maximise the potential of an, as yet untapped, volunteer ‘army’.

Talking to Steve Lowe, Head of Conservation at Northumberland Wildlife Trust, he told me that as an active volunteer hiself, outside of his day job, he is amazed by what a group of dedicated and well supported volunteers can achieve and by co-ordinating that enthusiasm this project will help people to do their bit and have fun along the way. 

An important part of the initiative will be the opportunity to restart the Young Rangers programme which gives 13-18 year-olds practical hands-on experience of countryside management.

Anybody interested in volunteering should contact us by email at info@northumberlandcoastaonb.org or by calling 01670 622306. 

More information will be provided on our website soon.

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