Durham Wildlife Trust calls out for votes to bag a share of Tesco’s bag fund

Durham Wildlife Trust is hoping to bag a cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative, to help with its work on a nature reserve near Darlington.

Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 raised from carrier bag sales in Tesco stores awarded to local community projects. Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

Durham Wildlife Trust is one of the groups on the shortlist for its work at the Whinnies Local Nature Reserve at Middleton St George near Darlington.

The Trust recently entered into a lease with Darlington Council, which owns the land, and it became DWT’s 37th nature reserve.

The former iron works, which is now a five hectare Local Nature Reserve situated between the Darlington to Stockton railway line and the A67, hosts species-rich grasslands with small ponds, woodland and scrub.

The reserve is an excellent home to wildlife due to its diverse habitats which make it good for woodland birds, small mammals and butterflies.

Durham Wildlife Trust plans to dig a new pond for frogs, newts and mini-beasts and volunteers will also play a big part in the transformation of the reserve by learning traditional skills, including how to hedge lay, so they can improve the pathways throughout the site.

Mark Dinning, Head of Conservation at Durham Wildlife Trust said: “The Whinnies is a fantastic local resource. For years this has been a special place where the community can connect with nature, and where wildlife is able thrive.

“The funding from Tesco’s Bags of Help will ensure the pond habitats on site, rich in wildlife, will continue to thrive and the people can access the wider site and all of the natural rewards it has to offer. ”

People can vote for Durham Wildlife Trust at Tesco stores Yarm Eaglescliffe or Ingleby Barwick in Stockton. Voting is open throughout May and closes at the end of June.