A ‘swift’ celebration highlights decade of Saltholme support

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RSPB Saltholme has unveiled a unique way to mark more than ten years of support from one of their biggest corporate donors, SABIC, with the installation of ten swift bird boxes dotted around the reserve’s visitor centre.

The popular Teesside nature reserve installed the boxes, sponsored by the chemical company, to welcome this year’s influx of the popular bird from Africa, which generally begin to arrive on site from late April onwards and can be spotted throughout the summer months.

RSPB site manager Chris Francis said: “It’s a special moment to be able to celebrate ten years of partnership with SABIC, which has given us the opportunity to deliver significant projects on the reserve, creating a habitat which has allowed nature to flourish in this uniquely industrial setting.

“The birdboxes will provide much-needed homes for the swifts, which sadly are on the decline due, in part, to the loss of nest sites. The boxes will help provide these wonderful birds with a long-term UK home they can return to year after year.”

Chris added: “Our corporate sponsorships not only allow us to continue our ongoing habitat and conservation efforts but allows employees and their families the opportunity to enjoy nature up close through a range of activities, including visiting our newly refurbished Pools Hide which allows visitors to see Saltholme from a whole new angle.”

With sites at Wilton and North Tees, SABIC has supported RSPB Saltholme via various means throughout the last decade, through their corporate membership, holding annual nature and industry visits with school children, planting trees and helping to rebuild the cockleshell islands.

SABIC also made a significant financial contribution to the nearby £16 million Greatham Creek Flood Defence project, which has improved and protected the adjacent habitat.

SABIC’s most significant contribution to RSPB Saltholme, however, is the donation of water, which sees them annually pump enough water to the reserve to fill 100 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

The donation, which involves pumping fresh water through underground pipes from the company’s North Tees site, saves Saltholme around £80,000 a year and helps them manage the reserve’s water levels for wildlife. It has played a significant role in making Saltholme the world-class centre it is, home to a unique variety of birds and other wildlife including water voles and otters.

Speaking about their support, SABIC’s Teesside site director Daren Smith said: “We have been delighted to reach this important milestone in our support of RSPB Saltholme, both as a corporate member and in the completion of several projects.

“Environmental protection is one of the top priority areas for our corporate and social responsibility (CSR) programme. It’s wonderful that on Teesside we have developed long-standing relationships with our partners and stakeholders in this way, not just to protect but to significantly enhance the local environment in which we operate.”

Entry-level business membership is available for all RSPB sites, and packages start from just £1,000+VAT. For more information, contact our corporate partnerships team at corporate.partnerships@rspb.org.uk.


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