Campaigners call for donations to safeguard Kings Farm Wood in Wroughton

Swindon Advertiser: Help protect Wroughton's Kings Farm Wood nature reserve Help protect Wroughton's Kings Farm Wood nature reserve

CAMPAIGNERS are calling on the people of Wroughton to join them in their big push to safeguard the village’s nature reserve for future generations.

Kings Farm Wood was rescued from potential development back in 2012 after parish councillors along with Swindon Council and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust teamed up to buy the £180,000 woodland.

The local authority and trust pledged £100,000 and £50,000 respectively towards the purchase of the grounds and even fronted the parish council the remaining £30,000.

The village immediately rallied together to reimburse the council’s loan and has so far raised nearly £16,000. With just until the end of March 2014 to raise a little over £13,000, activists and councillors are urging villagers to donate generously as they embark on one last fundraising drive.

Jane Lane, one of the leaders of the campaign, encouraged parishioners to join the appeal and help to preserve Wroughton’s precious legacy for decades to come.

“It’s our big push and we are asking people to make a donation or hold an event," she said.

"It really makes a difference. People are really passionate in the village and they have been extraordinarily generous already. What we’ve doing so far has really worked and we need the community to continue to help.

“It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy the woodland for 125 years. It will be ours so to speak. I know people have the willingness to help. There is strength in numbers.”

Kings Farm Wood is a 45-acre woodland that links the existing reserves of Clouts Wood and Markham Banks to the southern edge of Wroughton.

The wood will be owned jointly by Swindon Council and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and managed by the trust on a 125-year lease.

Parish council chairman Coun Paul Hurst said he was pleasantly surprised by villagers’ eagerness to back the appeal over the last few months.

“The borough council fronted the money for us and we are committed to paying it back," he said.

"We have got until March next year but I think raising £13,000 in that time is feasible. I’ve been surprised at how the community has really rallied round to help us. They have organised events and put leaflets through people’s doors. The community never ceases to amaze me.”

Fundraisers will hold a New Year’s Day walk at 2pm leaving from Willow Brook Gardens.

They will also attempt to swell up the appeal coffers at a Mile of Money event on January 25, between 11am and 1pm, during which villagers will be invited to donate enough to create a mile-long line of coins from Ellendune to the Willow Brook Gardens.

To make a donation contact The parish office on 01793 814735 or email clerk@wroughton.gov.uk

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