THE Hauxley reserve features in a new book which celebrates a century of nature conservation.
It is the first comprehensive history of the wildlife trust movement and includes the Northumberland and Durham organisations, which have more than 20,000 members between them, plus Tees Valley and Cumbria.
Wildlife in Trust, by Tim Sands, is published by Elliott & Thompson at £25 and covers all 47 trusts.
Northumberland Wildlife Trust took the opportunity to exploit the potential of the land behind Druridge Bay when the Radcliffe opencast site closed.
What was to become Hauxley nature reserve was bought by the trust in 1983 after an appeal backed by The Journal. Hauxley is now complemented by the East Chevington reserve – another former opencast site.
The then joint Northumberland and Durham trust was set up in 1963 after a meeting at Gosforth Park nature reserve in 1961 of a small band of like-minded individuals.
County Durham and Northumberland proved too large an area for one body and separate trusts were created in 1970
The first reserve north of the Tyne was Big Waters – a mining subsidence pond on the edge of Newcastle. It was followed by Throckley pond in the city and Tony’s Patch, a woodland overlooking the South Tyne in Northumberland and named after Tony Clissold, who tragically drowned while trying to photograph whooper swans from close quarters.
The Northumberland trust now has 62 reserves, including the most extensive in England – the 3,750-acre Whitelee Moor in Upper Redesdale.
The trust’s major successes have been:
In partnership with the Forestry Commission, the restoration of the extensive Border Mires peatlands in and around Kielder Forest.
In the early 1990s, sponsoring research by Peter Lurz from Newcastle University into red squirrels – the start of the long-running battle to save the native animals.
The North Northumberland otter project of the 1990s, which has helped the animals spread to almost every waterway in the region.
Durham Wildlife Trust’s first reserves included Low Barns at Witton-le-Wear, a former gravel extraction site donated by Tarmac, and the wooded coastal Hawthorn Dene.
Spin-offs from the trust include the Durham badger and bat groups, and the Durham Slug Group.
The trust now has 26 reserves, ranging from a tiny wetland field near Darlington to Hedleyhope Fell, near Tow Law.
Northumberland Wildlife Trust wants to recruit marketing ambassadors to work two days a week for the next 10 months.
A salary plus bonus, expenses and pension contribution is available.
Details at www.nwt.org.uk/jobs and from Laura Lowther on 0191 284 6884, or via email at laura.lowther@ northwt.org.uk