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A group of Lancaster University students and professors along with an army of Lancaster locals have taken matters into their own hands in an attempt to protect Lancaster’s only nature and wildlife preserve which is home to specie of wetland birds, a rarity for a UK city.
In partnership with the Fairfield Association, a community and environmental charity who since their opening in 1996 have raised over £350,000, the diverse group of 40 volunteers have signed up to take part in the Cross-Bay Walk in a bid to raise money to save the land surrounding the nature preserve from possible construction by a building agency. It has been reported that the land will be put up for auction this summer, however, an exact date has yet to be released. The nine mile walk will begin in Hest Bank on May 14th 2011 at 1.30pm and will be led by Alan Sledmore, who is an experienced guide.
Currently, the race is on to raise the money to fund the sale of the land. At this time, the Fairfield Association has raised £75,500 (plus gift aid) but this is still falling short of the estimated cost for the land. Mick Short, a Professor of English Language and Literature at Lancaster University and the organiser of the Cross-Bay Walk, has said “It is really important for us [the Fairfield Association] to buy the fields next to the nature preserve and keep the flight path open for the wetland birds. Local people have already been so generous but we need to raise more money. The Cross-Bay Walk is just one of the things we are doing to achieve what the people of Lancaster desire”.
Kat Davies, a third year student who is taking part in the fundraiser , said “I think it’s important for students to get involved with local community projects such as the Fairfield Association as it is a great chance to learn about the area and to meet actual Lancastrians all whilst helping out a worthy cause. I’ve seen the work the Fairfield Association has already achieved, such as the new playground and the securing of land for an urban nature reserve, and I hope through their fundraising events such as the Cross Bay Walk, they will be able to carry on their work”.
First year student, Amy McCabe, has also signed up to the Cross-Bay Walk commented “I think that it is important that people get involved because it is a great way to help our surroundings and protect our environment, not everyone believes that we are damaging the world but I think in this current climate it is important to provide a space for the animals to live safely”.
If you would like to take part in the Cross-Bay Walk then email firstname.lastname@example.org.