Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project Update –December 2010
Wild Writers Flyer
Next stop 2020!
As 2010 draws to a close, we’ll sum up the steady progress of the project as it prepares to step up a gear, and we’ll look forward, not only 2011, but beyond, to what the new decade holds for Wallasea Island.
This year has seen diversity in visitors and activities. Walkers, cyclists, birdwatchers, schools, MPs, RSPB colleagues from around the country, representatives of the tourism trade, members of the county council environment team, ecologists and university researchers all came along over the year to hear about the plans for the island and see it all before the action really starts.
So, what have we been up to…?
A significant step was the announcement, as part of the Government’s spending review that the future of the Crossrail project was assured, meaning that our partnership can go ahead. Six more planning submissions, covering details required for 17 planning conditions were discharged during the year and we now have all the required permissions for the start of the main works. The construction of the unloading facilities will start in the first part of next year with the first material from Crossrail planned to arrive towards the end of the year.
Research into the rich heritage of Wallasea also got off to a good start with items discovered at the Records Office and the response from an appeal to the local community for their memories. It is hoped this work will carry on as time allows and result in enough material to publish in booklet form. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of historical photos would be very popular with our researcher!
Media, both traditional and modern, were pressed into service to put Wallasea Island on the map and encourage interest in our Wild Coast Project. We now have colourful new web pages full of information and a regular blog on the RSPB community pages to keep readers up to date – see http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/groups/wallaseaisland/default.aspx
Not content with entertaining visitors ON the island, the team explored the local events scene over the summer months, engaging local communities and encouraging support. The season climaxed with our Wild Coast Weekend open days, which saw us welcoming 750+ visitors, many new to the area, to explore the island, learn about our work here and relax with local food, drink and live music. This set the benchmark for future events which will be announced on the website event pages and via local media.
We began to explore ways to work with community artists and photographers in the district and will continue to develop this as opportunities arise. A creative writing contest will run over the Christmas period, and we hope to receive imaginative work by local writers, inspired by time spent on the wild coast of Wallasea Island.
And to the future…
Sunday January 30th will be our first date for your diaries – Something Wild and Wonderfowl has fair weather or foul covered, with an afternoon of film and birdwatching. Booking is essential – details of this and the creative writing contest are on our web pages or from the contact below.
On behalf of the RSPB Wallasea Island team I’d like to wish you
a merry Christmas and happy New Year.
Hilary Hunter Wallasea Island Public Engagement Manager
Please contact me for information: Tel: 01268 498626/ 07702 779361 e-mail: email@example.com