YORKSHIRE Wildlife Trust is aiming to raise £5,000 to improve the visitor experience at a popular Filey wetland.

The charity is calling on the public to help raise the funds to build a new sheltered wildlife viewpoint at Filey Dams nature reserve.

If the £5,000 target is reached before December 31, £15,000 match funding from a private trust will be made available through the Landfill Communities Fund.

The last remaining freshwater marsh of any size in the area, Filey Dams is a magnet for migratory birds, such as teal and green sandpipers, and a haven for plants, small mammals and amphibians including great crested newts.

The reserve consists of large freshwater lagoons surrounded by marsh and grassland grazed with cattle. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust leases the site from Scarborough Borough Council and looks after it in partnership with local volunteers and the Filey Bird Observatory and Group (FBOG).

Recent work funded by Tesco Bags for Life to benefit visitors has resulted in upgraded paths, wildlife information boards and a new pond-dipping platform. Work is also underway to improve the wetland habitat for wading birds and waterfowl as part of a project led by FBOG supported by Yorventure, through funds generated by Yorwaste Ltd.

Jono Leadley, northern regional manager at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, said: "Encouraging and enabling everyone to discover nature is essential in order to improve the future for Yorkshire’s wildlife.

"Filey Dams is an established and welcome haven for both wildlife and people and we want to ensure everybody can enjoy this beautiful place and the wildlife it attracts.

"There are currently two old viewing hides which have served their purpose well, but they are in desperate need of replacement, to make them more inviting to visitors, especially families with children.

"We are very grateful to the Green Business Network for their offer of funding and we really hope people will make a donation, no matter how big or small, to help us secure the match funding.

"The funds mean we can install a bright, open building, perfect for inspiring the next generation about wildlife, and providing a fabulous vantage point and important shelter for everyone visiting."

To find out more and donate, visit ywt.org.uk/support-us, search Filey Dams on justgiving.com or call 01904 659570.