Staffordshire Wildlife Trust asks for votes to bag a share of Tesco fund

Tuesday 5th December 2017

Pic by Adrian Clarke

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is bidding to bag a cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative to restore damaged areas at one of its key nature reserves.

Earlier this year, wildfires destroyed 13 hectares of heather heathland at the Trust’s Gentleshaw Common nature reserve, situated on the southern edge of Cannock Chase. Since then, the burned areas have been taken over with an array of invasive plants and scrub which are strangling the delicate heathland plants clinging onto survival beneath.

Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of up to £4,000, up to £2,000 and £1,000 raised from carrier bag sales in Tesco stores awarded to local community projects.

Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to head along to their local Rugeley Tesco store to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

The Trust’s project is one of the three shortlisted and aims to restore the damaged areas at the reserve.

Hayley Dorrington, Southern Heathlands Reserve for the charity, said: “The project will allow invasive bracken, scrub and other plants to be controlled with a mix of volunteer work parties and contractors. Heather seeds will be taken from nearby plants, and spread on the damaged areas, helping the area come back as beautiful heathland.

“Volunteers from the local community will take part in fortnightly work parties, controlling the more sensitive areas whilst contractors will tackle the more severe overgrown areas.

“We really hope the local community supports our project and decides to vote for us.”

Voting is open in all Tesco stores throughout January and February. Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £40 million to 9,700 projects up and down the UK. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups every time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Alec Brown, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for January and February. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see these come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said:

“We’ve been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding, ranging from outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, community gardens, play areas and everything in between.

“We’re looking forward to learning the results of the customer vote and then supporting each group to bring their project to life.”

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