Hardwick Green Meadows - saved!

Tuesday 27th February 2018

Hardwick Green Meadow - volunteers and staff say thank youHardwick Green Meadow - volunteers and staff say thank you

Staff and volunteers at the county’s largest nature conservation charity are celebrating after completing the purchase of a series of internationally important meadows.

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust’s newest nature reserve comprises 50 acres of floodplain meadows in the southwest corner of the county near to the village of Eldersfield. Since launching a fundraising appeal and submitting a series of grant applications in the summer of 2017, the Trust has now raised enough funds to save these precious fields.

Colin Raven, Director of Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, said “We are thrilled to be able to save these rare and wonderful meadows from an uncertain future and would like to thank everybody who has donated to our appeal.

“From individuals who donated £10 to funders like Severn Waste Services, through the Severn Waste Environmental Fund, and The Banister Trust who donated £50,000 each, every bit has helped us to reach our goal.

“We must also say thank you to players of the National Lottery who enabled the Heritage Lottery Fund to grant £197,000 towards the purchase cost of Hardwick Green Meadows and our forthcoming work with local schools and communities in the area.

“Floodplain meadows are a rare find these days; only 3500 acres remain across the whole of the UK, which is about the area of the Malvern Hills.”

A riot of wildflowers

These meadows are very special indeed. Throughout spring and summer, they’re a riot of colour and the flowers support a huge variety of wildlife. As well as the butterflies and bees that dance from flower to flower, hares have been spotted and otters are known to use the brook.

Colin, Director

The charity and funding body, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, purchased the meadows on a short-term basis in order to give Worcestershire Wildlife Trust enough time to fundraise for the purchase and ongoing maintenance costs of £460,000.

Members of the public raised more than £50,000 through individual donations and £23,000 was raised through a number of charitable trusts including the Alan Evans Memorial Fund and Rowlands Charitable Trust. The remaining balance has been met by gifts left in Wills to the Trust.

The Trust has been managing the fields as a nature reserve since Esmée Fairbairn Foundation purchased them. The fields are already rich in plants such as great burnet, pepper saxifrage and corky-fruited water dropwort but the Trust expects the number of plants and insects to increase further.

The volunteer manager for the new nature reserve is monitoring how the water levels across the site affect the growth of wildflowers in certain areas.

The first job for the Trust will be to make structural improvements like the construction of bridges over the on-site brook to ease management of the fields. The Heritage Lottery Fund grant will also fund work with the local community and the creation of a cycle route that encompasses many of the Trust’s flower-rich meadows in the area.

Colin continued “We’re currently in the process of appointing a project officer to help inspire more people about our wildlife and these fantastic meadows.

“Anyone who wishes to visit Hardwick Green Meadows should keep an eye on our website for events; the fragile nature of the meadows mean that there will be special open days and seasonal trails.”

 Hardwick Green Meadows - volunteers and staff say thank you

Tagged with: Fundraising, Hardwick Green Meadows