Godfrey Williams, chairman of the newly-formed Friends of Moor House Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve.
Godfrey Williams, chairman of the newly-formed Friends of Moor House Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve.

A NEW group aimed at supporting the wildlife conversation work in Teesdale’s national nature reserve has been formed and plans an afternoon of informative talks to raise funds and awareness of its work.

The Friends of Moor House Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve (FoUT) has been formed by volunteers who already help out at the nature reserve and hope to bring in more funds to help continue the work as well as encouraging others to explore the uniqueness of the location.

Godfrey Williams, chairman and secretary of the new group, said: “We are quite a small group, with a core membership of around six people.

“Most of us have already been helping out volunteering with Natural England, but we wanted to look at other ways of raising funding to continue the work that is done.”

He added the group hopes to work with local businesses and funding organisations to enable additional investment to support improved access to the national nature reserve and to aid its work conserving wildlife.

One project the group is keen to get started on is improving access at Cow Green Reservoir for disabled users to allow everyone to enjoy the area.

The friends’ inaugural fundraising event will take place on Saturday, April 13, at Wynch Bridge End Cottage, which is a short walk across the River Tees from Bowlees Visitor Centre.

Members have organised an afternoon of talks from four local experts focussing on the story of the nature reserve, the variety of natural history in upper Teesdale plus the life of bumble bees and the exciting, but rarely seen predatory bird, the merlin.

The talks are open to all and there is a suggested donation of £2.

They start at 1.30pm and there will be refreshments and a wildlife tombola at the interval.

Pre-booking for the event is suggested and anyone wishing to secure a seat can email friends.of.upper.teesdale@ gmail.com

Mr Williams added: “We want to help preserve the nature reserve for future generations and need to look at encouraging more people to get involved.

“We hope in the future to try and be able to get more schools in the area involved and will be looking at educational courses.”

Anyone who is interested in volunteering with the group can get in touch via their Facebook page at Friends of Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve.