Heritage Lottery Fund to help save meadows

Wednesday 13th December 2017

Hardwick Green Meadows (c) Wendy CarterHardwick Green Meadows (c) Wendy Carter

Internationally important meadows are closer to being saved thanks to generous individuals, National Lottery players and a number of funders.

Great burnet (c) Wendy CarterWorcestershire Wildlife Trust, the county’s largest conservation charity, launched a fundraising appeal in the summer of this year to save 50 acres of rare floodplain meadows in south Worcestershire.

The Trust is celebrating the award of a £197,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards the purchase of Hardwick Green Meadows and work to involve the local community.

Together with donations from individuals following a public appeal, gifts left in Wills to the Trust, a donation of £50,000 from Severn Waste Services through the Severn Waste Environmental Fund and generous support from a number of charitable trusts, the Trust is nearing its target to purchase the fields.

The fields are currently owned by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation who agreed to buy them on a short-term basis to give the Trust time to raise the necessary funds to buy them.

Thank you

Mike Perry, Head of Resources for the Trust, explained “This is fantastic news. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response from our public appeal and would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped and supported us to buy these beautiful meadows so far.

“From spring and throughout summer the meadows are teeming with wildflowers, butterflies, bees and birds. Hares have been spotted there and we’ve even got camera trap footage of an otter using the brook that runs through the site.

“Hardwick Green Meadows are also a rare remnant of a once much more common habitat. In fact, there are only 3,500 acres of these meadows left in the whole of the UK – that’s about the size of Heathrow Airport.”

Funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which has been made possible by National Lottery players, will allow the Trust to work with the local community, especially local schoolchildren.

The delicate nature of the meadows mean that they will be open for special open days and seasonal trails; interested parties should keep an eye on the Trust’s website for further information.

Hardwick Green Meadows mapThe meadows are tucked into the southwest corner of Worcestershire near to the village of Eldersfield and are rich in plants such as great burnet, pepper saxifrage and corky-fruited water dropwort.

The meadows are in a good condition and a Trust volunteer is already monitoring how the water levels affect the wildflowers across the site. Once purchase is completed the Trust will begin to make structural improvements like repairing bridges over the brooks to ease management of the individual fields.

Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands said “We are delighted to support this project, which, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, will mean that more people will be able to get involved with, protect, and learn about the exciting heritage right on their doorstep.”

A video explaining more about the meadows is available on the Trust’s YouTube channel  

For further information about the appeal or to help the Trust to save the meadows, visit www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/appeal

Tagged with: Fundraising, Appeal, Hardwick Green Meadows