Funding boost for Wiltshire Wildlife Trust
Wiltshire’s wildlife reserves receive £270,000 donation from locally based Hills Group
WILTSHIRE Wildlife Trust is celebrating after receiving a donation of £270,000 from The Hills Group. Awarded under the Landfill Communities Fund, the funding will be used to help the Trust manage its 40 nature reserves across the county.
Dr Gary Mantle MBE, chief executive officer of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, said: ‘Wiltshire remains a national stronghold for both downland and lowland hay meadows. For 25 years The Hills Group has provided financial support for the Trust’s nature conservation work.
‘What started as a simple sponsorship agreement by a local company has matured into a unique relationship where the Wiltshire-based family-owned firm has provided support every year for 25 years to help protect, maintain and enhance Wiltshire’s countryside and environment. Their generosity and consistent support has been hugely important in helping to keep Wiltshire special.’
The funding from The Hills Group will used by the Trust to care for its internationally important meadows and downland reserves, such as Morgan’s Hill, between Calne and Devizes, Clattinger Farm near Malmesbury, and Coombe Bissett Down near Salisbury. Maintaining fences, hedges and ditches will also be achieved thanks to the support from Hills.
Over the past 70 years, 98% of all meadows in Britain have lost their wildlife interest, and although most of the remaining meadows are now recognized as Sites of Special Scientific Interest, they still need careful management to protect and maintain them.
Dr Mantle (pictured on right of photo with Hills Group CEO Mike Hill in the centre and chairman Alan Pardoe on the left) said: ‘This involves cutting for hay after the wild flowers have set seed and achieving just the right amount of grazing by livestock to keep the vigorous grasses at bay.’