£1,050raised of £5,000 target by 45 supporters

Weʼre raising £5,000 to build the "Sand Castle" - an artificial sand martin colony at Linford Lakes Nature Reserve in Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

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Sand martins are the smallest of the martins and swallows found in Europe, with dark brown upper parts and dark under wings contrasting with otherwise pale under parts divided by a distinctive dark chest bar.

Agile fliers, feeding mainly over water, they are normally the first of the hirundines to return to the UK from their African wintering grounds in spring and can often be seen perching on overhead wires or branches. Over the past 50 years the European population has crashed on two occasions as a result of droughts.

They nest by burrowing into sandy banks, a fragile and vulnerable habitat. By providing them with a permanent home, located in a protected nature reserve, their chances of forming a successful breeding colony will increase, helping to boost their population and protecting them from any future threats to their survival.

The colony will offer the opportunity to study their movements, longevity and breeding success giving us insight into the lives of these amazing little birds as well as helping to enrich and protect the reserve on which the colony will be built. Visitors will be able to watch their movements from a recently built hide, inspiring new naturalists, young and old, for years to come.

Milton Keynes is fortunate to have many beautiful parks and lakes, however Linford Lakes is unique within the city, being the only site run exclusively as a permit only nature reserve. The history of Linford Lakes dates back to the 1940s when the site started life as a gravel pit. Much of the material extracted went into the building of the new city and since the 70s, it has existed under several incarnations, from ARC Wildfowl Centre, to Hanson Environmental Study Centre. In this time it has been an important centre for research, a protected haven for sensitive and vulnerable wildlife and a tranquil escape for members of the local community.

Sadly, the area is under threat from development of adjoining land which will inevitably lead to increased disturbance to all of the wildlife that makes the site its home. Helping to create a successful breeding colony of sand martins will not only benefit the birds and the overall biodiversity of the site, but it will help to secure this important site's position as the premier nature reserve in Milton Keynes and protect it from further damage from human activity.

Many groups of volunteers support the site by running the various activities, talks, events and studies that make this such a special place. Whether it be coppicing, hedge laying, building a dry stone wall, or studying the many species of plants, fungi, birds, reptiles, mammals and amphibians that make their home in the reserve, we want to ensure that Linford Lakes continues to connect people to nature for many generations to come.

Please support me, the Parks Trust, the Friends of Linford Lakes Nature Reserve, all the visitors to the site, past and present and most of all, the wildlife that makes the reserve its home.

For more information about Linford Lakes Nature Reserve on the Parks Trust website, click HERE

For information about Open Days and other events run by Friends of Linford Lakes Nature Reserve, click HERE

To purchase an annual permit to visit Linford Lakes Nature Reserve any time you like (costs less than 60p a week for a family of four!), click HERE

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Kenny Cramer

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    4 months ago

    Kenny Cramer started crowdfunding

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    Page last updated on: 3/3/2018 8:48 AM



    • Rory Akam

      Rory Akam

      Mar 3, 2018

      Meant to do this earlier! See you soon


    • Duncan McCollin

      Duncan McCollin

      Feb 22, 2018

      Good luck Kenny. Hope you reach your target!


    • Asher Black

      Asher Black

      Feb 20, 2018

      For awesome cause, well done mate.


    • The K Team

      The K Team

      Feb 19, 2018

      Dear Kenny, Thanks for planning the new Sandcastle estate in MK. We really need somewhere to live when we return from Africa. Good luck and we hope to see you very soon! Thanks, the Sand Martins


    • Emanuele Cirilli

      Emanuele Cirilli

      Jan 8, 2018

      Awesome initiative Kenny, good luck!


    • chaitanya shah

      chaitanya shah

      Dec 27, 2017


    • Andrea Fellegara

      Andrea Fellegara

      Dec 22, 2017

      Good luck for this fantastic project Kenny!


    About the fundraiser
    Kenny Cramer

    Kenny Cramer

    Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

    Sci-fi nerd, muso and naturalist.

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