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New pond dipping platform opens at Filey Dams Nature Reserve

Wednesday 10th May 2017

New pond dipping platform at Filey Dams Nature Reserve New pond dipping platform at Filey Dams Nature Reserve

The popular and well-used pond dipping platform at Filey Dams Nature Reserve has now been replaced with a new one, constructed using recycled plastic thanks to funding from Tesco Bags for Life initiative.

Have a go at pond dipping!

Filey Dams Nature Reserve is a wonderful place for wildlife, attracted to the reserve for its freshwater pool and marsh habitats. For many years visitors have enjoyed the comings and goings from the view point and relaxed in the reserve’s peaceful atmosphere. Now, thanks to a new project called ‘Fantastic Filey Dams’ funded through Tesco’s Bags for Life initiative, a disused pond dipping platform has been replaced with a brand new platform.

The old wooden platform installed over 15 years ago was sinking and approaching the end of its useable life. Now the well-used platform has been replaced with a new one.

The work has been carried out by trainees from the Tomorrow’s Natural Leaders (TNL) project; a £998,000 five year project led by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to train and inspire 16 – 24 year olds within the conservation sector. The project is supported by Our Bright Future, a Big Lottery £33 million funded project.

By building and installing the new pond dipping platform the trainees were able to gain hands on experience in construction. From deciding which material to use and planning the construction of the platform beforehand, to the complexities of installing the platform at Filey Dams.

Anna Hamshaw, one of the TNL involved in building the platform, said: “The pond dipping platform at Filey Dams has been a fantastic project to be involved with. Thanks to the support of Trust staff and volunteers, my colleagues and I have overseen this project from design to installation. We decided to replace the former wooden platform with a recycled plastic one to ensure durability.

After three weeks of hard work the teams careful planning paid off and the brand new pond dipping platform is now ready to delight everyone.

Anna continued: “Despite the challenges we faced it is wonderful to have completed the pond dipping platform. I’m sure many people from both the local and visiting communities shall benefit from using it and discover more about the wildlife at Filey Dams Nature Reserve.”

Thanks to the generous grant of £12,000 from Tesco’s Bags for Life initiative, the Trust was also able to purchase new pond dipping kits, complete with binoculars, nets, trays and coloured ID-sheets for school and community groups to help them identify the varied wildlife at the reserve and give them an unforgettable experience. Pond dipping and bird watching sessions will be run by volunteers from Filey Bird Observatory Group who will help local schools, groups and visitors discover the wonderful wildlife found in the pond and across the wider reserve. And additionally access to Filey Dams has also been improved for visitors using wheelchairs or prams.

Anna added: “We would also like to thank Makita UK who supplied us with the tools needed to complete this work.”

The Trust’s Tomorrow’s Natural Leaders project is a five year project funded by the Big Lottery Fund as part of the Our Bright Future Programme. Click here for more information about this project or find out how you can volunteer for the Trust.

Image: Pictured L-R are TNL's Aron, Anna and Phil