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Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s urgent appeal to buy vital piece of the Swettenham Valley

Wednesday 4th April 2018

Cheshire Wildlife Trust has issued an urgent appeal to help them buy a vital piece of land which will take them one step closer to achieving their vision for the Swettenham Valley.

The Trust wish to link up their two existing nature reserves in the area – Swettenham Meadows and The Quinta - to create one large haven for wildlife and visitors. The 2.5acre plot is for sale by auction on 26th April, so the Trust don’t have long to raise the required funds.

“Both nature reserves contain a mosaic of habitats including ancient woodland, wildflower rich meadows and a network of ponds. Swettenham Meadows is particularly special in that it is home to our recently restored Coronation Meadow where the now established wildflowers provide a bounty of pollen and nectar to an impressive array of pollinating insects. It’s a simple fact that our native wildlife needs more space to thrive and adapt to the increasing pressures we are exerting on the countryside. In purchasing this land we would be doing just that, extending the reserve through the valley to create a haven for people and wildlife to enjoy,” said Joe Pimblett, Area East Co-ordinator at Cheshire Wildlife Trust.

The available plot hosts veteran trees, ponds and wet woodland which would offer not only additional linked habitat for wildlife to move into but would also enable the Trust to be one step closer in its plan to create a circular walking route around the Swettenham Valley.

“Our plans for the land would include; the removal of invasive species, restoration of the pond network and some further tree planting to extend the woodland. This is a vital piece of the jigsaw if we are to one day create a valuable wildlife corridor in which species can move freely through the valley,” said Joe Pimblett. “We’d be grateful for donations whatever their size to help us achieve this. Whilst we recognise this is only a small parcel of land its position, adjacent to our existing land, means that if we are successful - the impact this will have will be significant in protecting wildlife in Cheshire.”
Some of the wildlife species that would benefit from this restoration work would include the 14 resident species of butterfly which have been recorded at Swettenham Meadows such as the small copper, small skipper and ringlet as well as many under threat birds such as song thrushes, willow warblers, starlings and tree sparrows.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support already shown by our members and regular supporters to this appeal and we have already raised over £10,000. We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated so far,” said Jo Darlington, Director of Fundraising and Communications at Cheshire Wildlife Trust. “Due to the nature of the sale being an auction, it is hard to say what the final sale price will be - the more we are able to raise the better our chance will be of securing the land. We still have a few weeks to go before auction day, so if people would still like to be part of this important project and give a donation, it’s not too late.”

To donate to Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s Swettenham Valley land purchase appeal visit: www.cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/landpurchase_swettenham

Should Cheshire Wildlife Trust raise more than they need to secure the land purchase any remaining funds will be used to support conservation work in the Swettenham Valley.