The Rutland Osprey Project has received a significant boost with the presentation of a cheque for £5,000.
The cheque was presented to the project, which is a partnership between the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust and Anglian Water, by Tricia Lawrence who set-up the Martin Lawrence Memorial Trust in memory of her late husband, Martin, who sadly died from Motor Neurone Disease last year.
The trust aims to support projects in Africa and the UK close to Martin’s heart. Before his illness Martin was a daily visitor to the birdwatching hides at Rutland Water Nature Reserve and the money is being used to provide children’s learning resources at the newly-refurbished osprey hide.
In addition to presenting the cheque, Tricia also unveiled a permanent memorial to Martin in the new hide at Rutland Water.
She said: “My family are so pleased to have this memorial to Martin in a place he loved to visit each morning whilst walking our dog Molly, and more recently Ben.
“My fellow trustees were unanimous in deciding to support the Rutland Osprey Project so children both here in the UK and Africa can follow the ospreys journey and increase their knowledge of birds and the natural world.”
Tim Mackrill, from the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Tricia and everyone at the Martin Lawrence Memorial Trust for their generous donation.
“We have already used part of the money to install new high definition cameras on the Manton Bay osprey nest. These images are streamed live onto the project’s website and also to a screen in the hide which was also funded by the trust. We plan to use the remainder of the money to produce a children’s book about ospreys.
He continued: “Martin became a very good friend of the project and we are delighted that we have a permanent memorial to him in the hide.
“We hope that the new hide will allow thousands of people to enjoy seeing the ospreys, just as Martin did.”
The hide, which has been funded primarily through a grant from the Caterpillar Foundation, is open daily from 6am to 8pm.
The ospreys returned to the nest on Easter Monday and it is hoped that the female will lay a clutch of eggs in the coming days.
For more information visit www.ospreys.org.uk and www.themartinlawrence-memorialtrust.org