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Funding helps turn the tide for wildlife in Flintshire

Published: 07/03/2023

Connah's Quay Dock 6.jpgWales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) has announced that Flintshire County Council is to be awarded £19,215 from the Welsh Government Coastal Capacity Fund. 

The funding will encourage groups to work together on projects, and the two main priority areas of the fund are Nature Recovery and Sustainable Growth, supporting nature’s recovery through enhancing the coastal environment.  It also focuses upon engaging with local communities to promote local produce and support short supply chains, and working with local fishermen, tourism, and countryside services, to support and protect biodiversity.

The funding was made available via the Local Nature Partnership and will be used to undertake planning and research into wildlife friendly lighting proposals for the North Wales Coast, at Connah’s Quay Docks and build coastal community connections.  The project is pilot study which will also have an environmental habitat assessment undertaken by Flintshire environmental specialists Atmos Consulting – which will support the development of the plan.  Flintshire will also undertake consultation regarding ‘Dark Skies’ lighting, and it’s hoped the scheme could lead to further applications for funding and replacing the existing aging street lighting with a better scheme, reduced carbon footprint and improved coverage for the area.

The project findings will also be shared with other partner organisations and could inform other areas along the Flintshire Coastline.  

Flintshire’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Economy, Councillor David Healey, said:

“Thanks to the funding, we have an opportunity to engage with local walking groups, community groups and a wider audience online – through the films.  It’s vital to let people know about the wildlife ‘on their doorstep’ and how they can go online to record their sightings. We’re always looking for new ways to promote the importance of local wildlife and want to capitalise on the opportunities of these grants to support the improvement of the Coast for people and wildlife.”

Darell Jones, Flintshire Streetlighting Manager, said:

“Having grown up in a coastal community, I’ve always understood the importance of the marine environment, and how lighting affects this. That’s why it was one of my top priorities when we had the opportunity to apply for the funding. Hopefully it will then inform a future application for physical improvements and the installation of a scheme in the area, based on the proposed blueprint.”

Connah's Quay Dock 15.jpgTo help build upon connections through the coastal community, a series of 6 short films will be produced for social media by local company Film Cafe, covering wildlife tourism, sustainable fishing and local food provision.  

Robbie Davison from meal provider ‘Well-Fed’ said:

“Fresh food always tastes better, and it’s great that this funding gives us the chance to connect with local fishermen as we look to develop shorter supply chains.  If we can purchase direct from local fishermen, it will help us improve our meals as we look to feed the residents of Flintshire the best food possible.”

Whilst Connah’s Quay has a large population, not everyone in the local community has a ‘connection’ to the coastline there and the funding is seen as an essential ‘first step’ towards raising awareness, and encouraging people to visit, to walk, cycle, and visit the local cafes.