Wildlife lovers across the North East have helped secure funding to create Europe’s first solar-powered flamingo house at Washington Wetland Centre, which won the public vote.
The project to install Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels, UV lighting and heat lamps will receive £12,000 from the M&S Energy Fund to provide sustainable conditions for breeding and rearing ‘flaminglings’, as the fluffy chicks are affectionately known.
Washington Wetland Centre’s manager Gill Pipes said: “This is fantastic news. We have been overwhelmed by the support we’ve had for our bid. We know that every project in the running was worthy and had great merit and we’re humbled to be receiving the funding. It’s important, what we do. The world’s need for conservation is greater than it’s ever been and that conservation is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve. The team here are champing at the bit to crack on with the project, getting things in place well in advance of the 2018 breeding season so the flamingos can start benefitting from the funding straight away. We’re so grateful and will make sure that we make the very most of every penny.”
Also involved in the venture are project partners Enviro UK Consultants Limited and renewable energy company ARPower.
Sharon Lashley from Enviro UK Consultants Limited said: "We are delighted that this project can now go ahead with M&S Funding support and we are so very proud to be involved in helping to deliver what will be a very innovative and exciting Solar panel project.”
Maria Dunville, finance director with renewable energy company ARPower, which will install the project’s hardware, said: “We are so pleased that all of the hard work and effort has paid off and that WWT and the flamingos now get to benefit from this fabulous fund. Thank you so much for all of the support, it has been overwhelming.”
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