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News article created on 7 May 2013

Wildlife given a boost in Dewsbury

Wildlife habitats along the Calder & Hebble navigation in Dewsbury have been given a boost this year thanks to tremendous public support for one of our first appeals.

Improving, creating and protecting habitats for waterway wildlife is a key part of our ecology work at the Trust. Jonathan Hart-Woods

Last summer we launched an appeal to raise funds to help deliver a range of ecological improvements along six miles of canal and river around Dewsbury. The money raised will now pay for the materials to create a range of new bird and bat boxes, as well as installing motion sensor web cams so we can monitor the species using the boxes.

Trust Conservation Volunteers (TCV) will be on hand to help a group of Kirklees College students build the boxes ready for installation.

Rebecca Dent, Dewsbury Waterlinked project officer said: “Thanks to the generosity of local people and others who have supported the Canal & River Trust, we’re now able to start work in delivering these important wildlife enhancements. During last year’s Outdoor Dewsbury Festival we ran a series of mini beast, bird and bat walks and we’ve used the findings from these to inform which locations we should install our new wildlife boxes. We’re also installing some web cams so that we can monitor how popular the boxes are for local bird populations.”

Encourage more birds

Jonathan Hart-Woods, environment manager at the Canal & River Trust added: “Improving, creating and protecting habitats for waterway wildlife is a key part of our ecology work at the Trust. This is a built-up area with not a lot of tree cover so we’re hoping that these boxes should help encourage more bird species to the area.

“However, simply creating habitats doesn’t go far enough. We all have a responsibility to protect the environment and as a new charity it’s important to us that the local community and visitors connect with their local waterside environment and help us provide ongoing protection and management to these areas. This local ownership is vital to the long term future of our waterways so we hope that people in Dewsbury will help us in our efforts along this waterway corridor.”

A range of exciting volunteering opportunities are available in supporting the Dewsbury Waterlinked project. Roles include habitat surveying and monitoring, event organisation and helping to continue to deliver practical towpath improvements.

If you're interested in supporting the project please contact Rebecca Dent at rebecca.dent@canalrivertrust.org.uk or by call 07717 618850.