Strong support for trust’s annual focus on marine life

Some of the birds spotted at Cresswell Pond on a walk along the Druridge Bay coast during National Marine Week.

Some of the birds spotted at Cresswell Pond on a walk along the Druridge Bay coast during National Marine Week.

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Northumberland Wildlife Trust (NWT) has said it is delighted with the success of its National Marine Week activities.

More than 80 people turned up to its two-day cetacean watches at Cresswell, with sightings of bottlenose dolphins and minke whales.

Those who took part in a seven-mile walk along the Druridge Bay coast spotted 46 different bird species, including a record eight little egrets at Cresswell Pond. An otter was also seen in the area.

Poking around in rockpools at Cresswell and Cullercoats over a number of days and one night turned up common starfish, brittlestars, hermit crabs, shore and edible crabs, plenty of moulting shore crabs, a berried female shore crab, common periwinkle, barnacles and beadlet anenomes.

Other activities included bird walks, boat trips, beach cleans and family fun days.

The news is not so good, however, at the trust’s Hauxley nature reserve on Druridge Bay as the charity has issued a strong reminder that it will remain closed until spring/summer 2016 whilst the new wildlife discovery centre is being constructed.

The reminder follows some recent incidents where people have blatantly ignored the closed sign and the padlocked gate and climbed over the fence to get onto the reserve.

A NWT spokesman said: “Not only is such behaviour causing damage to the fence, it is also dangerous as the entire reserve is classed as a construction site, with everybody having to comply with the guidelines set out by the Health and Safety Executive.

“As a result of these actions, volunteers who would have been assisting with the construction are being diverted to patrolling the site and repairing the fencing, which in turn is having an affect on the building’s progress.”

In addition to Cresswell Pond, the nearby nature reserves that people can enjoy are Cresswell Foreshore, Druridge Pools, East Chevington and Linton Lane.

Meanwhile, the trust has been named as a beneficiary in two recent legacies.

Eric Whittle and Joyce Reay had been members for 34 years and following their deaths some months ago, they bequeathed £70,000 and £55,000 respectively to the charity

NWT recently received both sums of money following the settlements of their respective estates.