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Weymouth's RSPB Reserve Counting the Cost Following Floods

RSPB Flooding 1

8:49am 16th July 2012

It will cost around one hundred thousand pounds, but the RSPB is determined to repair the floodwater damage to their reserves in time for the Olympics.

Last weekend's floods saw countless birds' nests, including those of rare breeds, destroyed at the reserves in Weymouth.

The RSPB's recently refurbished Wild Weymouth Discovery Centre also fell victim to the freak weather conditions.

They'll need to start almost from scratch with the centre and have launched an online appeal to cover the costs.

Rob Farrington, speaking for the RSPB in Dorset, said: ""The team locally had never seen anything like this. With a high tide meeting a deluge the water had nowhere to go but up and within a relatively short space of time we'd suffered significant losses.

"We did what we could for the wildlife. The common tern colony over on Lodmoor was saved thanks to the provision of floating inflatable mattresses that gave the young terns a safe roost - an example of some remarkably quick thinking! But there was nothing we could do for other wildlife out on the reserve."

But the RSPB is determined to re-open the Centre in time, although they admit it will be "rather basic". They are also hoping to put up temporary displays, including one telling the story of the flood.

"Out on the reserve we don't know fully yet the damage to the paths, the boardwalks, the kingfisher and sand martin banks and the hides," Mr Farrington said. "Some may be covered by insurance, but an awful lot won't. Our first estimates put the costs of the damage and repairs at around £100,000, but this is likely to rise. So if people would like to help we'd be pleased to receive donations."

To give to the RSPB Flood Appeal click here

If people are planning a visit to the reserve, some paths are open and the RSPB is on site. For full details contact the reserve office on 01305 773 519.

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