Crowdfunding appeal launched to replace hides at Snettisham


The RSPB has launched its first ever crowdfunding appeal to try to raise £120,000 to replace two hides at Snettisham, Norfolk, which were destroyed by coastal storms in 2013.

Wildlife TV presenter and RSPB Vice President Chris Packham has leant his support to narrate a short volunteer-made appeal video, and said that the new hide at Snettisham will "help inspire a whole new generation of nature lovers with the incredible sights and sounds of The Wash."

An artist's impression of the new hide design which will replace the two damaged hides at Snettisham RSPB (RSPB).

Snettisham RSPB lies on the edge of the expansive tidal mudflats of The Wash, which is Britain's largest estuarine habitat and its most globally important site for wading birds and wildfowl. Every year thousands of people from all over the country travel to the site to witness the aerial displays of tens of thousands of birds attracted to The Wash by the abundance of food in the mud. Since 2013, however, they have had to do so without the two hides lost during the storm surge.

Site Manager Jim Scott said: "The devastating tidal surge in December 2013 left a trail of destruction along the Norfolk coastline and at our coastal reserves. The surge completely wiped out two of our hides at Snettisham, quite apart from the damage done to the sea banks and lagoons. The photograph of our hide teetering on the edge of collapse was hard to forget.

One of the hides teeters on the edge of collapse in December 2013 (RSPB).

"Today marks the start of trying to rebuild this wonderful place so that people can experience the wildlife of The Wash in the very heart of it. Snettisham is a place that thousands of people enjoy every year. With their support I hope we can make it even better and inspire more people, especially the younger generation, with the amazing wildlife of this special place."

One new hide will replace the two that were lost in the storm. It been designed by specialist architects BioTope to be more resilient to floods, while providing fantastic views of the main attraction — Snettisham’s wildlife — and will be a building for everyone, improving the experience for all visitors including birders, photographers, walkers and other lovers of wildlife.

Crowdfunding allows members of the public to donate money for a specific purpose in exchange for rewards, many of which are exclusive. The RSPB has managed to secure some truly wonderful rewards that should inspire people to donate to this important appeal.

Huge flocks of Knot are just an example of the wader spectacles that can be seen from the hides at Snettisham RSPB (Les Bunyan) .

"Donating to this appeal is a great way to really make a difference for the future of Snettisham nature reserve," said Jim Scott. "There are some wonderful rewards on offer too, but they’re likely to be in demand so get donating quickly!"

The appeal is now live at crowdfunder.co.uk/snettishamhide.

Follow @RSPBintheEast and #SnettsHide on Twitter to stay up to date with news from the appeal.