Scottish Seabird Centre saved from closure after appeal

The conservation charity in North Berwick, East Lothian, was facing permanent closure in April due to the pandemic.

Scottish Seabird Centre saved from closure after appeal SWNS
The Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick, East Lothian.

The Scottish Seabird Centre has been saved from closure after an emergency appeal raised more than £200,000.

The conservation charity in North Berwick, East Lothian, was facing permanent closure in April after being forced to shut its doors during the coronavirus pandemic.

Naturalists Chris Packham and Simon King backed the appeal, which was the first for the chairty since opening 20 years ago.

The Seabird Centre works on conservation projects such as the SOS Puffin, which has helped the critically endangered Atlantic puffin population recover in numbers.

It also runs an education programme, engaging with more than 4000 school children each year.

Thanks to generous donations of more than £200,000 the centre has been able to able to re-open their doors to the local community.

CEO Susan Davies said: “I’d like to say a huge thanks to all our members, funders and supporters for their incredibly generous support.

“They have saved us from a very immediate threat of permanent closure and we will be forever grateful to them.

“It’s been a fantastic start on our road to recovery from the financial impact of COVID-19.

“The incredible response to our appeal shows the support we have for continuing to inspire people about the amazing marine wildlife and habitats found around Scotland’s coasts.”

However the future remains uncertain and the charity is preparing for challenging times ahead.

Visitor numbers are down by nearly 70% after missing a significant period of peak tourism during lockdown.

Footfall is currently only providing a fraction of the funds the charity needs to continue its vital work to help conserve Scotland’s marine environment.

Fundraising Manager, Charlotte Bray said: “We’ve been so delighted at the amazing response to our appeal.

“Not only have people been giving one-off gifts, but we’ve also seen a rise in people wanting to give a small donation monthly.

“This is a great opportunity for us.

“Regular giving is fantastic for our charity as it means we’re able to plan and deliver our important education and conservation work for the future, knowing that we have the support.”