Suffolk

Suffolk Wildlife Trust raises £200k to extend Lackford Lakes

Map showing reserve and new land Image copyright Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Image caption Lackford Lakes nature reserve was founded 30 years ago

A parcel of land where rare species of birds breed has been bought after a successful appeal to raise £200,000.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust launched the appeal to extend its Lackford Lakes reserve less then six weeks ago.

The land, adjacent to the reserve, is an important habitat for species such as nightingale and stone curlew.

Will Cranstoun, from the trust, said the overwhelming level of support from the public showed "just how much Lackford Lakes means to people".

The purchase of the 77-acre plot was backed by TV adventurer Ray Mears, who said: "It's great news that places like Lackford Lakes are able to grow and become not only a refuge for wildlife but somewhere people can come to be inspired and engaged with the natural world."

Image caption The new land, adjacent to the reserve, was last cultivated 25 years ago

The 300-acre reserve, comprising wetland, woodland, scrub and sandy heath, dates back to 1987, when local conservationist Bernard Tickner initiated the transformation of a former quarry into a wildlife habit.

During celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of Lackford, Mr Tickner presented a cheque for £65,000 towards the land purchase, having previously given £35,000 towards the appeal.

Over the next year, the trust will begin work to create trails around the new land and connect it with the existing reserve.

The full purchase cost of the land has not been revealed.

Image copyright Mark Gosbee
Image caption The reserve was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1997 for its birds and dragonflies

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