The operator of the Tyne Tunnels has teamed up with Groundwork South and North Tyneside to boost community engagement and wildlife habitats at a Hebburn woodland that is home to a rare species of butterfly.

TT2 is donating £16,220 to help increase the number of local people getting closer to nature at Monkton Community Woodland, which spans 4.5 km of tracks, has over 30,000 trees and shrubs, and is home to the scarce, Dingy Skipper butterfly. The site, a former coke works is owned by The Land Trust and managed by Groundwork for the benefit of wildlife and the community.

The money will pay for materials, workshops, habitat creation, a new ornamental butterfly walking route, volunteer expenses, training, wildlife specialists, and gloves, tools, bulbs, and seeds for their project, Counting on Nature. The scheme supports children with anxiety, particularly those with climate anxiety, so they can help reduce climate change by planting trees and flowers.

The funds will support both habitat creation and community engagement focused on improving wellbeing through connection to nature.

“It is much more well-known these days, the many benefits that spending time in nature can bring for our mental health and it is more important than ever that people have access to high quality green space within walking distance of their homes. This support from TT2 will enable the woodland to help lots more local people. We are very grateful and can’t wait to get started.”

Andrew Watts CEO from Groundwork Trust

Around 30,000 local residents visit Monkton Community Woodland each year, including school and community groups.

“We have a focus at the Tyne Tunnels on supporting projects that benefit the environment and local communities. This project sounds incredible and we’re looking forward to taking our team down there to try and spot a Dingy Skipper.”

CEO at TT2, Adrian Wallace

The Tyne Tunnels has achieved Carbon Neutral status for a second year running by reducing its direct and indirect emissions, from owned or controlled sources.
The biggest impact has been made from optimising energy consumption through employee initiatives and education, LED lighting installation and purchasing 100% green energy.

The recent introduction of open-road-tolling, a team garden, woodland area with beehives and the introduction of an electric vehicle fleet are all supporting the Government’s 2050 net zero target by reducing TT2’s carbon footprint and energy consumption.

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