In November 2019 we submitted a bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund asking for a very significant sum of money to help us buy Hazeland. We were told that this particular fund was extremely competitive and we all worked very hard not to get our hopes up.
But then in early March we got the call saying we had been successful! The amount is transformative and will allow us to buy the land, manage it and employ a part-time administrator for three years to help organise lots of volunteering and biodiversity events on site.
This amount gives us a great deal of security, and a good base to expand with other land purchases so that we can really start to make an impact on the catchment.
Of course everything these days is being affected by coronavirus. Both teams of solicitors are able to work right now; however, the county records office is closed. It may be that completion of the purchase is delayed, but the vendor has kindly given us permission to conduct the spring and early summer biodiversity surveys anyway so that we can measure our impact going forward.
The vendor will also allow us onto the land in June to remove the Himalayan Balsam, an invasive species that can spread far and wide. We don’t want to miss the opportunity this Spring to bring it under control, but this of course is also virus dependent.
Huge thanks to everyone who has supported us! The hundreds of big and small donations you’ve made, the gift cards you’ve bought and your participation in our events means we have been able to demonstrate a high level of public support, which has made it possible to attract bigger pots of money. Particular thanks to Natracare, Richard Watkins and the private trust that have backed us, without whom this definitely wouldn’t have been possible, but also to all of you for your faith in us.