Kind-hearted staff from Waitrose & Partners supermarkets all over Sussex and Kent took time out from feeding the nation this week to help manage reedbeds at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. And keep an eye out for their community fundraising boxes in the coming months as they seek to raise funds for the Reserve’s new Discovery Centre at supermarkets all over the region.
The volunteer team, led by Waitrose & Partners Crowborough branch manager Matthew Street, spent several hours in protective gear cutting back willows from the reedbeds at Castle Water, a key habitat in the 1100-acre Nature Reserve and home to one of the UK’s rarest birds – the Bittern.
Inspired by their team-building day surrounded by nature, the team’s shops across Sussex and Kent will include the Discovery Centre Appeal in its Community Matters ‘green token’ scheme where people vote for their favourite charity of the month for a share of a donation.
“We had a fantastic time out on the Reserve doing something really practical to help with conservation – but we’d like to do more,” says Matthew, the manager at Waitrose & Partners Crowborough. “That’s why we’re keen to support the campaign for the Discovery Centre in our supermarkets – it’s a great project for a great place”.
Reserve Manager Dr.Barry Yates, who helped set up the volunteer day for the Waitrose & Partners team and selected the conservation work the team undertook, says this kind of support is invaluable for the Reserve. “The rare and endangered species we have here won’t thrive if we don’t maintain the habitats they depend on to live so the work the Waitrose & Partners team did is really helpful.”
“We’d love other organisations in the region to think about how they can support our work, too. Waitrose have shown it can be fun, help the reserve and – we hope – will raise money for the new Discovery Centre in the coming months too.”
“If you’ve got an idea like this to help raise funds for the Centre then please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Sussex Wildlife Trust website and click on the Discovery Centre button. We’d love to hear from you”.