A FORMER landfill site will be turned into a wildlife haven after the Wilts and Berks Canal Trus won £50,000 of lottery cash in a TV vote.

The trust scooped the money after featuring on The People’s Millions, an ITV feature which sees groups outline their case in a bid for the cash.

Viewers then vote to select who will be handed the grant.

Chris Coyle, of the canal trust, said it was wonderful that they had secured the money.

“We were on TV on Wednesday night and we heard on Thursday that although we hadn’t won , we were the best runner-up and the long and the short of it was that we were voted for by the public and got the £50,000,” he said.

“We got people going on the night and we got enough to secure the £50,000. It’s wonderful.”

He said the money would now be spent on converting a former landfill site at Studley Grange into a wildlife corridor, with a standing water habitat and a multi-use path, featuring a kilometre of canal banks planted with hedging, scrubs and wild flowers to provide food and shelter for wild bees, insects water voles and wildfowl.

Bat and bird boxes will also be provided, along with benches.

“We’re going to be turning that from a landfill site into not just a restored part of the canal but a wildlife trail as well,” Chris said.

He said the group would be working with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and Friends Of The Earth on the scheme.

Kath Hatton, the vice-chairman of the trust, said: “The project will provide a wonderful amenity for the community with local schools and youth groups being involved. “They will be making and installing bird and bat boxes and helping to plant wild flowers.

“They will also be monitoring the site for the return of the water vole, an endangered species.

“Entering the TV competition had been a terrific experience, with a number of good outcomes. ”It has given us experience in organising a major publicity and fund-raising campaign, which will stand us in good stead in the future.”

The Big Lottery Fund’s chief executive, Dawn Austwick, said: “The People’s Millions competition is a brilliant opportunity for people to have a say in how Lottery money is spent in their communities.”

For more details on the trust - and for updates on the work log on to www.wbct.org.uk.