CEF grant will help revamp Trust’s Wolseley HQ

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has been awarded £75,000 from the HS2 Community and Environment Fund (CEF) to put towards improvements to its Wolseley Centre home.

The county’s largest nature conservation charity, which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year – was successful in its bid for funding which will go towards the redevelopment of the Centre, near Rugeley, the Trust’s home since 2003.

The CEF fund has been created to benefit communities along the route that are disrupted by the construction of Phase One of HS2, with the aim to fund projects that will enhance the quality of life and the environment of communities disrupted by the construction of HS2.

Work is due to begin in November on making The Wolseley Centre an even better place for people to visit. The redevelopment will see the creation of a new café with stunning views over the lake to enrich the visitor experience, a new car park offering more spaces, improved interpretation and introducing new features across the well-visited site.

The Wolseley Centre is home to many different wildlife habitats including peaceful woodland, a colourful hay meadow, a river, tranquil ponds, lakes and lush marshland. It is home to breeding kingfishers, otters, and a diverse and abundant population of bats.

Mark Dixon, Project Manager, said: “This vital funding will allow our Wolseley plans – which have been in the pipeline for many years – to become a reality.
“We want people to spend longer with us when the visit and having a café will allow them to do that.”

Cathy Elliott, Independent Chair of CEF and BLEF, said: “We are pleased to support the development of the Wolseley Centre to enhance the Wildlife Trust’s facilities and access for the public to local wildlife habitats. CEF supports communities disrupted by the construction of HS2, and we encourage them to apply for funding to benefit their local environment.”

Julie King, Community Engagement Director at HS2 said: “It’s important for us to work with communities on HS2's environmental activity and the development of our ‘green corridor’. As the corridor takes shape, there will be opportunities for people to get involved, including the delivery of locally-led environmental projects like the redevelopment of the Wolseley Centre, supported by HS2’s community funds.”

The new café will raise vital funds to raise money to protect wildlife and wild places across Staffordshire.

Work on site is set to begin week commencing Monday 5th November and is due to be completed in time for an official opening at Easter 2019. Next year is a special year for the Trust with it being its 50th anniversary.

For updates, visit the Trust’s Facebook (www.facebook.com/StaffsWIldlife) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/StaffsWildlife) pages.