Meadows Appeal raises £115,000!

Meadows Appeal raises £115,000!

Thanks to the generosity of members and donors, the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust Meadows Appeal has raised £115,000 and the threatened meadow has been secured for nature.

Earlier this year, we launched a fundraising appeal with the aim to raise £100,000 needed to purchase a threatened wildflower meadow in the Charnwood Forest. 

The diverse habitat was at risk of being lost to development, which would have meant all the beautiful wildflowers growing on the land and all the birds, insects and mammals that called it home could be lost. Thanks to an outpouring of support, we surpassed our target and received an incredible £115,000 in donations. We are now delighted to announce that we have been able to purchase the land.

The Charnwood Forest meadow will now become part of our network of nature reserves, and will be protected for wildlife for the future. Our dedicated team of conservation staff and volunteers will manage the land to ensure it is full of wildflowers and buzzing with life. We will use methods such as cattle for grazing or taking hay cuts to create the optimum conditions needed for a diversity of species to thrive.

Chase Meadow

John Clarkson, Head of Conservation says;

“We cannot thank everyone enough for their support. We have lost 97% of wildflower meadows since the 1930s, so each one saved is a great win for wildlife! This meadow will now be protected for all the fantastic wildlife that depends on it and will create more space in our landscape to aid nature’s recovery.”

The meadow sits within the Charnwood Forest and a number of species already inhabit the land, including wildflowers like marsh thistle, meadow vetchling, tormentil, pignut, milkwort and betony. 

Insects including five and six spotted burnet moths, chimney sweeper moths, forrester moths, meadow brown butterflies, ringlet butterflies, and small skipper butterflies have all been recorded on the site. Birds including starlings and goldfinches are regular visitors, foxes have been seen and there are signs that badgers forage nearby. 

With the right management, we are hoping to attract more diverse species to the area.

Tim Graham, CEO of Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust says:

From myself and the team at Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, thank you to everyone who contributed to the appeal, we are extremely grateful for the support we have received. Wildflower meadows are a rare habitat and an essential part of our ecosystem, so it is vital that we keep these areas protected for nature at all costs. Knowing that we now have this meadow in our care is fantastic news!

The Wildlife Trusts are calling for 30% of land and sea in the UK to be dedicated to nature’s recovery by 2030. By creating more space for nature, beautiful wild places will be restored and struggling wildlife will have the chance to recover. We can help achieve this goal in Leicestershire and Rutland through strategic land purchases like this one and by expanding our nature reserves. 

Unfortunately the meadow is not currently open to the public, so we can keep it protected for nature, but we look forward to keeping everyone updated on the work we are doing. 

Conservation Officer Neil offers his thanks to everyone who supported the Meadows Appeal and tells us a bit more about the meadow.