RMC are donating land and, through the RMC Environment Fund, a cash grant in a move that will see the creation of one of the most extensive, best equipped and most ecologically diverse wildlife centres in eastern England. In total, the support for Suffolk Wildlife Trust is worth in excess of £1/2 million.
The RMC Environment Fund has awarded the £300,000 grant to the Suffolk Wildlife Trust for the creation of a new visitor centre at their Lackford Lakes Wildlife Centre near Bury St Edmunds. RMC Aggregates Eastern Counties have also gifted 222 acres of restored gravel quarry land to the Trust to guarantee the future of Lackford Lakes as a haven for wildlife.
The 240-acre site is located between Mildenhall and Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. The former gravel quarry, which was operational between 1968 and 1999, has been sympathetically restored to nature through a partnership between RMC and the Suffolk Wildlife Trust.
With part of the site already designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the construction of a new visitor centre, which is being funded by the grant, will attract many more visitors. The centre will also allow the Trust to develop, for the first time, environmental education facilities in the west of the county.
More than 200 bird species, including kingfisher, osprey, spoonbill, golden oriole and little ringed plover, have been recorded at Lackford Lakes and the site is also home to the largest wintering population of goosander in Suffolk. The site contains a range of habitats from wet alder woodland to orchid meadow and sandy grassland. Many of the lakes are now mature habitats with good areas of scrub and shallow mudflats. Otter, grass snake and many species of butterfly and dragonfly also thrive on the site.