Learning about the Waveney Trust
How long does it take to get a charitable trust off the ground? The speaker at August’s Old Buckenham WI meeting, Geoff Doggett, managed to raise enough enthusiasm and cash to make sure that The Waveney Trust became a successful river conservation charity within two years.
From a meeting in a Harleston pub in March 2012 to managing 668 members and a budget of tens of thousands of pounds in grants and donations two years later has been quite an achievement.
The Waveney Trust aims to provide a programme to improve the River Waveney from source to sea. It works with a range of wildlife groups and agencies to protect the whole river environment. Projects so far have included rubbish clearance, eradicating invasive plant species, raising awareness of the problems of phosphates and farm chemicals leaching into the river courses and livestock pollution.
The redundant Otter Trust buildings at Earsham have been revamped to provide an educational base for the general public to raise awareness of the importance of bio-diversity in the local environment. Eels have been encouraged back by provision of special gates to enable them to access the upper reaches of the Waveney. For the first time in fifty years, rush has been harvested for local craftsmen. And of course the otters, at the top of the food chain in the Waveney, still have their place too.
The next meeting is on Thursday 25 September when members will be treated to 'Patchwork – Show and Tell' by Meg Brown. The meeting will be held in Old Buckenham Village Hall and starts at 7.30pm.