AN EVENT commemorating the role a former RAF airfield near Cricklade played in the Second World War will be held on Sunday.

RAF Blakehill Farm is now a nature reserve owned and managed by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.

On September 17 1944, Dakota aircraft of 233 RAF and 437 RCAF Squadrons flew from this airfield with their Horsa gliders in tow in an attempt to capture the bridges at Arnhem.

The mission was part of Operation Market Garden and it was made famous in the film, 'A Bridge Too Far'.

The wildlife trust is hosting an event to celebrate the 74th anniversary of the historic mission.

Local historian and volunteer warden Vince Povey manages the reserve and has been researching the airfield for many years.

Representatives from the Glider Pilot Regiment Society, as well as relatives of those who flew the missions, will be attending the event to hear a lecture about the airfield's history.

They will also be given a tour and lay wreaths on the remaining portion of runway.

Tickets for this commemoration event have sold out.

Most of the airfield buildings and infrastructure have been lost but Wiltshire Wildlife manages the wildlife-rich hay meadow and pasture which remain.

The old runways are long gone but they can still be traced by the changes in vegetation.

Now the grassland is home to brown hare, roe deer, kestrel and skylarks.

The nature reserve is also home to the Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre.

Further information can be found at and