Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Woodland protected as a nature reserve
12:30pm Friday 15th March 2013 in News
A TREASURED woodland in Wroughton has been saved from development and will become a new nature reserve for the community.
Kings Farm Wood, a 45-acre block of mixed native woodland, off Devizes Road, has been saved thanks to Swindon Council, Wroughton Parish Council and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.
The three organisations bought the land, which links the trust’s nature reserve of Clouts Wood and Markham Banks to the southern edge of Wroughton.
Together, Kings Farm Wood, Clouts Wood and Markham Banks will create a 150-acre nature reserve, playing an important part in the trust’s living landscapes work to restore, reconnect and recreate habitats to benefit local wildlife and people.
Trust director Gary Mantle said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“The combined reserves will be a rich network of ancient and new woodland, chalk grassland, spring lines and chalk streams. The approach of linking valuable wildlife habitats together and working at a landscape scale is crucial if we are to protect the county’s precious environment.
“Together with Swindon Council and Wroughton Parish Council, we hope to secure the future of Kings Farm Wood for the benefit of people and wildlife. However, we will need to pay for the land and meet the cost of managing it first.”
Coun Dale Heenan, cabinet member for strategic planning and sustainability, said: “I have seen for myself that the Kings Farm Wood area is rich in wildlife, and a popular location for local residents, families and dog walkers.
“We must do everything we can to protect these crucial areas of landscape and habitat, and this project is why the Great Western Community Forest fund was created. The 45 acre Kings Farm Wood follows on from the creation of the 60-acre Jubilee Wood near Moulden Hill Country Park.”
The trust and the parish council will shortly be launching a public appeal to help pay for the purchase and management of the new reserve.
Parish council chairman Paul Hurst said it was delighted to be associated with the project and will assist the trust in all possible ways, including the public appeal.
He said he was confident that the village would respond positively to the appeal and raise the necessary money to help pay for Kings Farm Wood.
The wood would be owned jointly by Swindon Council and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and managed by the trust.
The trust’s involvement will guarantee sustainable management and protect the land from future potential development.