Wroughton nature reserve is officially opened
A NATURE reserve in Wroughton was officially opened today after the land was saved from development.
Kings Farm Wood, a 45-acre space of mixed native woodland, was bought with money raised by Swindon Council, Wroughton Parish Council and the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust in March this year.
The land links the trust’s nature reserve of Clouts Wood and Markham Banks to the southern edge of Wroughton, creating a 150-acre area which will benefit local wildlife.
Perry Chadwyck-Healey, chairman of the trust, said: “I am so pleased we have completed the purchase. It’s a wonderful feeling when you have completed something like this.
“A lot of hard work has gone into the project and we are so grateful to everyone who has helped to make it a possibility.”
Coun Dale Heenan, cabinet member for strategic planning and sustainability, cut the ribbon to declare the reserve open.
He said: “It’s great to see such progress brought about by the partnership. This is a great spot for people to walk and enjoy the nature reserve and enjoy walking their dogs.
Funding to buy the reserve was pulled together from grants from Swindon Council and Wroughton Parish Council and also from £40,000 worth of donations from members of the trust.
Amanda Callard, head of fundraising and communications at the trust, said: “We are delighted to be able to protect this wonderful area for visitors to enjoy. It is our way of saying thank you to anyone who has donated, or helped us to save the wood. I hope they will all come along and find out what we are planning.”
As part of the opening, the trust led guided walks throughout the day, talking to visitors about the wildlife they could spot and future plans for the wood.
Wildlife experts were also on hand to talk about the variety of animals, birds, plants and trees visitors can find in the reserve.
There was a bat walk in the evening, when visitors searched for rare barbastelle bats which were recently spotted at Blackmoor Copse near Salisbury.
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