The quality of woodland and pond habitat at Brinkburn Pond and Meadows in Darlington is set to be transformed following Durham Wildlife Trust securing funding from Esh Group’s private housebuilding division, Homes by Esh.
The funding has been awarded via the Greener Communities programme, a grant-making initiative which was launched by the firm earlier this year in partnership with County Durham Community Foundation.
In 1971, the trust was originally founded as Durham County Conversation Trust before becoming the Durham Wildlife Trust in 1988. Operating across the area of old County Durham, which today includes Darlington, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland, Durham Wildlife Trust manages 50 nature reserves between the River Tees and the River Tyne.
The grant will be used to support Darlington Borough Council to improve the quality of the woodland and pond habitat around Brinkburn Pond and Meadows. In consultation with local residents, the trust will carry out a programme of tree management, including cutting and thinning over hanging vegetation and removing some small trees from around the woodland. Work will be carried out by trust staff, volunteers and specialist local contractors including the use of a horse logger to move timber around the woodland and reduce disturbance.
Mark Dinning, head of conservation for Durham Wildlife Trust, said: “To support Darlington Borough Council, we have spent some time getting to understand the concerns of people who live close to and enjoy visiting Brinkburn Pond, so that our management plans for this wild space meet expectations, and also address the natural factors that are contributing to its current condition.
“We are confident that by implementing wetland management over winter, and with the support of local volunteers on a longer term basis, we will be able to return the pond to its former glory.
“I look forward to seeing the area improve over the coming months and would like to thank Homes by Esh for their very generous grant which is supporting the work.”
Colin Willetts, deputy managing director at Homes by Esh, said: “When delivering homes, we want families to have space where they can explore nature and make the most of local area. With Homes by Esh delivering hundreds of new properties in Darlington it’s great to see the work that Durham Wildlife Trust is doing within Brinkburn Pond and Meadows.
“We are proud to pledge this funding to improve the communal green space as well as making improvements for wildlife in and around the pond, the very aim of the Greener Communities programme.”
Councillor Scott Durham, ward member for Brinkburn and Faverdale, added: “I know how important this area is to local residents and have helped them engage with Durham Wildlife Trust and Darlington Borough Council. This generous grant I know will help support the much-needed improvements to the Pond and wider reserve, thank you to Homes by Esh for supporting this project.”
Esh’s Greener Communities programme will help communities become ‘greener’ through carbon reduction, environmental improvement and education projects. A fund of £50,000 was allocated to support projects which are centred around green skills, climate resilience, improving green spaces and habitats.
Homes by Esh’s new build development, West Park Garden Village, is located less than three miles from Brinkburn Pond and Meadows. West Park Garden Village includes two, three and four-bedroom homes which feature Homes by Esh’s high specification by design promise, with each property greener and more economical than an older home, helping to reduce energy consumption, water usage and waste.
When delivering homes, we want families to have space where they can explore nature and make the most of local area. With Homes by Esh delivering hundreds of new properties in Darlington it’s great to see the work that Durham Wildlife Trust is doing within Brinkburn Pond and Meadows. We are proud to pledge this funding to improve the communal green space as well as making improvements for wildlife in and around the pond, the very aim of the Greener Communities programme.”