Area of moorland can become a ‘wader hotspot’ after Trust buys 30-acre site

Thursday 12th October 2017

The county’s leading nature conservation charity has secured funds to buy a crucial area of upland wading bird habitat in the Staffordshire Moorlands, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has raised over £100,000 to secure a 30-acre site near Upper Hulme – and now the charity wants it to become a wader hotspot.

The target was finally achieved thanks to a National Lottery grant of £57,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). HLF were particularly pleased the Trust had been able to raise so much money before their award thanks to generous donations from members of the public.

The rest of the money was donated in the form of a substantial legacy gift which was kindly donated to the Trust.

The land is important because it provides an ideal habitat and breeding area for upland wading birds like snipe, curlew and lapwing— whose numbers have plummeted in recent years. The Trust, based at The Wolseley Centre, near Rugeley, was particularly interested in the site as it is immediately adjacent to its Roaches and Black Brook nature reserves, near Leek.

James Dennison, Fundraising Manager for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, said: “We’re delighted that our appeal target has been achieved thanks to National Lottery players.

“The Trust had to take a leap of faith that we could raise the money when we placed a winning bid for the site at auction last year – and we set ourselves two years to hit that target.

“Thanks to our members and funders, we’ve managed to do that in half the time.

“Our attention is now turning to the management of the site which is known to have previously held breeding curlew and snipe and has been identified as a “wader hotspot” through our survey work.

“The Trust was interested in this land straight away as it gives us an opportunity to work on a scale which is more joined up across our existing Roaches and Black Brook nature reserves.”

Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands, said: “I’m delighted that we can support Staffordshire Wildlife Trust thanks to money raised by National Lottery players. This project will help to halt the decline of wading birds by protecting and improving this crucial local habitat.”

Founded in 1969, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is the county's leading nature conservation charity and has been working to protect the wildlife and wild places in Staffordshire for over 40 years.

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