A grant from the Sheringham Shoal Community Fund has enabled the Hawk and Owl Trust at Sculthorpe Moor in North Norfolk to implement three new projects on its journey to becoming a carbon-neutral nature reserve.
The new Dragonfly Hide and Education Centre at the Hawk and Owl Trust
One of the initiatives to be funded by this grant is the installation of an off-grid solar photovoltaic system to supply the new Dragonfly Hide and Education Centre. Following the lifting of the pandemic lockdown restrictions, this new facility is now nearing completion. Approached by a boardwalk to maximise accessibility, the timber building blends into the backdrop of the nature reserve, and looks out across water meadows teeming with wildlife.
Nigel Middleton, who is the Warden at Sculthorpe, is looking forward to the opening of the new facility, saying:
“We usually welcome around 20,000 visitors to the nature reserve each year, and I believe the new hide and education centre, which will feature the latest computer and audio-visual display technologies, will greatly enhance the visitor experience.”
The second project is the installation of four electric vehicle charging points in the nature reserve’s car park. There is currently limited availability of such charging points across North Norfolk, so these are expected to find favour with the reserve’s visitors and the local community alike.
The air source heating system installed at the new offices
In June 2020 the staff and volunteer team at the Hawk and Owl Trust moved into new offices at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve, and the air source heating system which serves this new eco-friendly timber building is the third project that has been funded by the Sheringham Shoal grant.
Adrian Blumfield is the Hawk and Owl Trust Chief Operations and Executive Director; he said:
“With 250 acres of land at Sculthorpe Moor, and over 3,800 members of the Hawk and Owl Trust nationwide, this new purpose-designed building is an ideal base for all those tasked with the management and administration of the activities associated with the on-going development of a charitable organisation that was founded over 50 years ago”
“As we strive to achieve carbon neutrality, and I think we are now somewhere between 80 to 85% of the way there, we are very grateful to the Sheringham Shoal Community Fund for its support of these three key initiatives”
Sheringham Shoal Community Fund supports projects that make a difference in North Norfolk, addressing issues including climate change, sustainable communities, marine environment/ safety, renewable energy and education / employment. Grant awards totalling over £880,000 have been made to around 90 projects since the Fund was established in 2010.
The 317MW Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm, which is operated by Equinor, is situated between 9-17 miles off the coast of North Norfolk. It produces sufficient renewable energy to power over 220,000 UK homes.
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Issue date: 13-10-20