Trust appeals for help to buy important site for iconic wading birds

hazel

The county’s leading nature conservation charity is raising funds to secure land in a bid to save iconic wading birds from localised extinction.

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust hopes to raise the money to allow them to complete a purchase for Hazel Barrow, a 30-acre site based near to its Roaches nature reserve close to Leek.

The land is important because it provides an ideal habitat for upland wading birds like snipe, curlew and lapwing— whose numbers have plummeted locally since 1985. The Trust, based at The Wolseley Centre, near Rugeley, is also particularly interested in the site as it is immediately adjacent to its Roaches and Black Brook nature reserves.

In August, the charity agreed a £108,000 deal at auction to purchase the site. It now has two years to raise the funds to complete the deal, otherwise the land will go back on the market. Almost half of the total has already been raised thanks to a generous legacy left to the Trust.

James Dennison, Fundraising Manager for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, said:

“Our vision for Hazel Barrow is it to become a breeding site for upland waders. The Trust was interested in this land straight away as it gives us an opportunity to work on a scale which is more joined up across our existing Roaches and Black Brook nature reserves.

“We’ve secured short term finance for two years to give us time to raise the £108,000 we need to buy the land. We’re off to a great start thanks to a generous legacy left to us, but now need to raise the rest of the money.

“When it comes to saving wildlife sites that are at risk we sometimes need to take a leap of faith that the money will be found somehow, and continue to put wildlife at the heart of everything we do.”

Helen Dale, Head of Property and People, said:

“Protecting what we’ve got, so that we can start to restore habitats and see populations grow is key to reversing national declines. So when an area of land known to historically have supported breeding curlews came up for sale, in August, we were first in line to try and secure it for wildlife.

“We hope that once under our care, with the right management, we will see these species establish breeding populations, allowing us to support the effort to bring endangered birds back from localised extinction.”

Anyone who wishes to contribute and donate to the appeal can do so by visiting

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Hazel-Barrow

Founded in 1969, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is the county’s leading nature conservation charity and has been working to protect the wildlife and wild places in Staffordshire for over 40 years.