Winter view from Nel's hide in Marshside in Southport. Photo by Martin Campbell

One of the most important wetland sites for wildlife in the North West has today launched a new campaign to ask nature lovers to show a little extra love for the reserve and help support the repair of a vandalised hide.

RSPB Marshside in Southport has launched a JustGiving campaign page to help raise funds to repair Nel’s hide that was badly vandalised just before the New Year. 

Funds are needed for material costs to repair and improve the hide and surrounding area and anyone who wants to support it and donate can go to

Alex Pigott, Site Manager for RSPB Marshside nature reserve, said: 

“We are one of the most accessible nature watching spots in the North-West, with our hides providing shelter for visitors to enjoy the amazing and internationally important wildlife here.

“It’s so frustrating that due to damage caused by vandalism, Nel’s hide is currently closed to our visitors, especially when the reserve has so many beautiful wintering birds to see”.

Nel’s hide was opened in 2001 and named in memory of Nel Unna, a bird lover and supporter of the RSPB who co-funded it. 

The hide provides sweeping views over Rimmer’s Marsh with Nel’s pool directly in front.  

Nel’s hide was broken into and vandalised just before New Year’s Eve. The door was broken beyond repair, with windows and walls damaged too. 

Sadly, the hide was targeted again recently, and although unable to gain entry inside the wooden screening outside has been destroyed and damage done to the roof and exterior cladding.

Wes Davies, Warden for RSPB Marshside reserve said: 

“We have an amazing team of volunteers who can carry out the repairs.  We are appealing to nature lovers across the region to help us raise the funds to buy materials.

“Our initial hope is to raise £2,000 to fix up the hide windows, walls, and cladding and to replace the door with a new steel security door.

“If over the £2,000 target can be reached, the volunteer team will also be able to replace the wooden screens to provide ‘out of hours’ viewing opportunities at Nel’s hide which currently it doesn’t have, as well as replace the halfway viewing screen.”

RSPB Marshside protects 155 hectares of coastal grassland and pools and 230 hectares of saltmarsh on the shores of the stunning Ribble estuary.  

The RSPB manages the reserve to protect important populations of breeding waders and wintering wildfowl, plus other wildlife such as brown hares and wintering birds of prey.  Birds to look out for at the reserve this winter include huge flocks of Wigeons, Teals, Lapwings and Golden Plovers, as well as Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine and Sparrowhawk.

Find out more about visiting RSPB Marshside at

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