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Tweaking wildlife accessibility
1:19pm Thursday 2nd December 2010 in Community
Wildlife lovers and protectors succeed in maintaining the beauty of the guarded nature reserves in Withdean and Westdene woods, and aim to make them more accessible to local residents.
TWEACK (The Withdean Westdene Woods and Eldred Avenue Copse Keepers), founded in 1993, are indeed a group of happy volunteers of all ages and backgrounds, who once a month gather at the gate and set out on the leafy paths of the Withdean Woods. They use a number of tools to work hard at the earth and create usable paths for the public. Their participation helps keep up an atmosphere of awareness of the surrounding wildlife and increase interest from locals.
Secretary Lili Wilson who took up the committee with her husband Martin Wilson a decade ago, said: “It brings the community together”. A sense of well-being springs up from the common devotion these people share. They are helped by professional rangers such as Neil Doyle from the Brighton and Hove City Council, who takes school and university students into the woods for education and volunteering.
Treasurer Maggie Sutton pointed out that the preservation of natural areas like this one is fundamental for the equilibrium of biodiversity. The number of bats in the area has gone down in the last few years. One of the volunteers, who brought his seven year-old daughter along, said that they had first come to the Woods to watch the bats. They are sad to see they are fewer each time. Hopefully, developing a suitable environment through more volunteer work will help their numbers grow again. It is a cause worth fighting for. Louise Powell, a member of the executive committee, said: “It feels right doing this.”
Anyone who is determined to help preserve this small patch of wildlife and who enjoys teamwork can join the committee. Visit TWEACK’s website at www.tweack.org.uk.