Shoppers can vote for projects at two Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserves

Tuesday 29th August 2017

Suffolk Wildlife Trust is asking shoppers to vote for projects at two of its reserves after making it through to the final of a community initiative launched by Tesco.

The supermarket has teamed up with Groundwork on its Bags of Help scheme, which sees grants of £1,000, £2,000 and £4,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to local community projects.

Three groups in each of Tesco’s 416 regions have been shortlisted to receive the cash award.

And this month shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

In Suffolk, projects at Arger Fen & Spouse’s Vale and Carlton Marshes have both been selected to go forward to the public vote that runs from 1 September through to October.

A vote for the project at Arger Fen would see the building of a wooden walkway through part of the wood known for its beautiful displays of bluebells.

Woodlands Warden, Giles Cawston, said: “Arger Fen is nationally renowned for its breath-taking displays of bluebells. By installing a high quality walkway through the valley bottom it will be easier for all visitors, but particularly those with limited mobility, to enjoy a glimpse of a true natural wonder.

“Furthermore the walkway would mean that visitors no longer have to look for a drier route off the path, which has previously resulted in the damage and destruction of other flora and wildflowers.”

The Trust is also asking shoppers in the Lowestoft to back the creation of a weekend pop-up visitor centre at Carlton Marshes.

Broads Warden, Matt Gooch, said the project would mean families could make the most of their visit to this beautiful free-to-visit Broadland reserve.

“Suffolk Wildlife Trust has great ambitions for its Carlton Marshes nature reserve. There are plans to increase the size of the reserve to over 1000 acres, along with pioneering habitat improvements to attract even more wildlife. While we work to bring this vision to life, we want to make sure that our visitors have the opportunity to have a hands-on experience with nature and see why this part of the country is so important for wildlife.”

Support from Tesco Bags of Help would mean families and visitors could drop in at any time to try out a nature activity such as pond dipping, wildlife home building, nature trail or bug hunt. Trust staff and volunteers would be on hand to help people enjoy their visit and find out more about the nature reserve.

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £33 million to more than 6,400 projects up and down the UK. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups every time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Alec Brown, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for September and October. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see these come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said:  “We’ve been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding, ranging from outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, community gardens, play areas and everything in between.

“We’re looking forward to learning the results of the customer vote and then supporting each group to bring their project to life.”

Voting for the Carlton Marshes project takes place at the following Tesco stores:

2841       LOWESTOFT 1    NR32 1LZ
2848       LOWESTOFT 2    NR32 4TZ
2998       OULTON BROAD EXPRESS             NR33 8QX