Community support

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000

Description

We need your help and support to turn Pershore Weir Island into a wildlife and community haven, attracting residents and tourists alike. The island, located in the heart of Pershore, Worcestershire, on the River Avon, was cleared through a major dredging programme in May 2017. As a result, it now offers a blank slate to secure the long term biodiversity of this hard to reach land - but we, the Avon Navigation Trust (ANT) need funding (and volunteers) to make our plans a reality.

With the Aviva Community funding, we aim to transform this currently bare patch of earth with our volunteers and:
• Create a wildflower meadow and wildlife friendly garden, attracting pollinators, insects, mammals, bats and birds
• Build a shelter/hide from recycled plastic so visitors can spot secretive river inhabitants, with flood safe, low maintenance specifications
• Establish a pond and wetland area
• Plant local Pershore heritage plum trees and river border trees
• Build a separate ‘paddlers path’ for canoe portage around the lock
• Install interpretation boards to give information about the navigation, biodiversity and wildlife on site
• Design and print a leaflet to publicise and promote the site.

Access to the island is currently limited, other than by water, so ANT has partnered with the local Angel Hotel, which has gardens and a suitable mooring/landing stage for river boat trips. With Pershore Weir Island transformed and evolving, ANT, working with the Angel Hotel, will start bespoke boat trips for groups and then establish more regular cruises as the project develops. This will open up opportunities for local residents, schools and visitors to enjoy the river more with its wildlife and environs.

The plan includes clear provision for boats using the lock, with a separate mown ‘paddlers path’ for portage. This forms part of the River Avon Canoe Trail, to be published by British Canoeing later this year. None of which will be possible without your votes and our successful bid for funding.

Through your votes, the funding the ANT receives will cover the costs for the core materials, plants and the interpretation boards and information leaflets - but all the work required to create this wildlife shelter will be carried out by volunteers of all ages, with the local community pulling together to help. ANT will also provide support ‘in kind’ with tools and equipment for use on site and delivery of all materials by boat, as well as volunteer supervision and support with the necessary design and planning, which requires expert advice on ecology. Future regular volunteer work days will focus on keeping the site safe and encouraging use by different groups, including different ages, abilities and interests.

This project will also be a valuable pilot scheme for other wildlife areas planned by ANT, as the river authority and responsible with volunteers for the long term maintenance of similar lock sites along the whole River Avon.

By creating an accessible and informative wildlife haven, the PWIWP will give a reason for the local community and visitors to discover and explore our hidden riverside environment.

Avon Navigation Trust (ANT)

Moment of Pride

ANT is intensely proud & passionate about our river, so “Your friendly local waterway” underpins all we do. Despite no state funding, we run & maintain the river thanks to enthusiastic volunteers. PWIWP exemplifies this: to create an accessible haven and be a pilot for future river eco projects.

Location: Pershore