Our First Purchase: Hazeland
We have had a bid accepted on a beautiful 34 acres in the Marden Valley between Chippenham and Calne called Hazeland. Both of these towns have been hit by floods in recent years and planting in the high catchment area helps protect all the other towns and cities downstream, including Melksham, Bradford-on-Avon, Bath and Bristol. This makes a perfect first purchase.
Within Hazeland there exist approximately 10 acres of ancient woodland which needs protection. We are likely to lose all the Ash trees which make up a big percentage of the wood in the next few years, due to Ash Die Back. There are also two enormous pastures in which we plan to plant trees while allowing space for glades and biodiversity improvement. Buying this land will also help protect the river Marden which runs alongside it, and which currently fails water quality tests for nitrates and phosphates.
We have commissioned several specialist ecological surveys of the land to find out what rare and endangered species live there and we are working with the Woodland Trust on planning the actual planting and long term management of the land. We are extremely grateful to the Woodland Trust for writing our land management plan and for fully costing it.
The results of the eco-surveys are really exciting. There are a number of near UK-extinct species we hope to attract back to the land, including nightingales and some species of woodland butterflies. We also have four rare and protected species of bats in the area. We want to create a ‘habitat mosaic’ which is a mixture of scrubland, high forest and wetland. The land planning is being done in close partnership with the Woodland Trust.
What We Need Now
At the end of 2019 we are two thirds of the way towards the purchase price of Hazeland. We are talking to companies and trusts and our aim is to raise another £100,000 by Spring 2020.
The money we raise now will go directly towards the land purchase. Previous funding has covered the costs of independent land valuation, eco-surveys and our legal fees – and has got us off to a good start towards funding the purchase!
We have no staff costs – admin costs will be kept to an absolute minimum. Any money we raise above our crowdfunder target will go towards purchasing the land.
If you work for a company that may be able to support us please let us know by emailing us here.
Alternatively, you might want to consider hosting a coffee morning, local biodiversity walk, film night or any other fundraising event. We can support you with ANT materials. Contact us here to get started.
While we anticipate the vast majority of the money will come from large donors such as businesses and trust funds we still need to raise a lot of money from public donations. Please give as generously as you can via our donate page – every penny you donate gets us closer to buying this land, so we can take a step forward in the fight against climate change.