Rock legend helps to reach cash target to save woods
5:30am Tuesday 18th March 2014 in By Elizabeth Mackley
ROCK’n’roll flautist Ian Anderson’s gig on Saturday helped Wroughton reach their £30,000 target for the Kings Farm Wood Appeal.
The lead singer of the British band graced the stage of the Wroughton Club in the village’s final push to save the woodland from development in a sell-out performance.
Steve Harcourt, who attended the evening of music, said: “We believe that following the three events on Saturday we have hit the target.
“I think the music night on Saturday was very successful and it was clear how much Ian Anderson cares about the wood as well.”
Ian’s set, played to some 200 people, was followed by another from local folk group Talis Kimberley and band and Guildford-based R&B band Big Dog and the Bite rounded up the evening, and all performers provided the entertainment free of charge.
The community had until March 31 to raise the money to save the wood from development, and following three different fundraising events on Saturday they finally reached their goal.
Steve Harcourt, villager and a member of Wroughton Parish Council, was joined by fellow villagers, councillors and South Swindon MP Robert Buckland to beat the boundaries in an 18.5-mile sponsored walk around the parish.
The 62-year-old said: “Beating the boundary is a medieval tradition where you go around the boundaries of the parish. They used to actually beat the boundary with sticks to mark out the territory.
“It went really well and there were four people who did the whole walk with some people joining us for part of it. I think the weather helped as it wasn’t too hot, but it was dry.”
On Saturday villagers also supported the appeal in a Big Swish event, where from 2pm to 4pm residents went along to swap their bags, scarves, books, CDs, ornaments, clothes and jewellery for a £5 fee.
Swindon Council and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust teamed up to buy the £180,000 woodland in 2012, with each pledging £100,000 and £50,000, respectively, each towards it.
They fronted the remaining £30,000 and the villagers have pulled out all the stops since January to repay the loan. Steve said: “It’s a big ask to raise all that money and we’ve done it in about four months.
“I think we are all really proud of the community and all the effort everyone has put into it, and I think it’s helped in the community and brought everyone together.
“Some people have asked what we are going to do next.”
As well as beating the boundary and hosting charity gigs, money has been raised through coffee mornings, quiz nights and the Mile of Money event.
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