The plot, on the banks of the River Dane, is the equivalent of 25 football pitches. With the exception of a small area of woodland, the land is currently of little benefit to wildlife. Years of ploughing and fertilising have eroded the soil and sent harmful chemicals and nutrients into the River Dane.
The Trusts’ ambitious plans would turn what is currently a wildlife wasteland into a mosaic of meadows, woodland and ponds.
Cheshire Wildlife Trust plans to join up the existing patches of trees and create homes for woodland wildlife like tawny owls and other woodland birds. They also plan to dig ponds within wetland areas that will attract wading birds like curlew and lapwing. New species-rich grassland will provide homes to a variety of bees, butterflies and other insects as well as small mammals.
Saltersford Farm is less than one mile from the Trusts’ Swettenham Valley nature reserve. Buying this land will help the Trust to create a corridor for plants and animals to move freely through the Dane valley.
14 of the 57 resident UK butterfly species are found at Swettenham Valley nature reserve. Newly created meadows at Saltersford Farm will provide more food and shelter for these and other precious species.
The cost of the land is £467,000. The Trust has secured a loan from a charitable trust, but there is a shortfall of £67,000. The Trust urgently needs to raise this £67,000 before the 30th November in order to buy this land and is appealing to the public to help bring wildlife back to the Dane valley.
- £17 could buy 4m2, making news homes for butterflies and bees
- £34 could buy 15m2, creating ponds for dragonflies
- £80 could buy 35m2 to plant carbon storing trees.
- £230 could buy 100m2, transforming farmland into wildflower meadows.
Hannah Dalton, Senior Living Landscape Officer for Cheshire Wildlife Trust said:
“Your donations will help us to buy Saltersford Farm and will allow us to turn it into a wildlife haven. To be able to take an area so devoid of wildlife and bring it back to life will be an amazing triumph. It won’t be easy, but wildlife needs us to be ambitious.
It doesn't stop here. This will be the first of many habitat creation projects for Cheshire Wildlife Trust across the Dane Valley and beyond. Acquiring places devoid of wildlife and returning them to nature will be key to having 30% of land and sea managed for wildlife before 2030.”