Nottingham Wildlife Trust has recently launched an urgent appeal to secure the long-term future of Nottingham’s beloved Attenborough Nature Reserve.
The reserve, situated in the village of Attenborough on the banks of the River Trent in Nottinghamshire, has been cared for almost 60 years by local charity Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust – which now has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase the site.
The reserve is a beautiful complex of flooded former gravel pits and islands providing exceptional habitat for a range of wildlife.
More than 500,000 people visit the reserve every year which has been noted as one of the best sites in the UK to see the Kingfisher. As well as rare wildlife such as otters and bitterns, it is home to more than 450 plant species, 400 moth species, 160 bird species and 100 species of hoverfly.
World renowned natural history broadcaster, Sir David Attenborough, President Emeritus of The Wildlife Trusts, has added his backing for the appeal.
Sir David has a long and fruitful association with the reserve stretching back to 1966 when, as Controller of BBC2, he returned to the village from which his family takes its name to open the reserve. Attenborough Nature Reserve now covers 200 hectares of wetland, woodland and grasslands habitat on the site of a former sand and gravel quarry.
Sand and gravel extraction, which started in the 1920s, ended in 2016 and the Wildlife Trust have agreed to buy the land from its owners. As a result, the charity has launched a £1 million Attenborough Nature Reserve Lifeline Appeal to ensure it can purchase the site and invest in its future management.
Speaking in support of the appeal, Sir David Attenborough, whose grandfather, father and mother were born nearby said: “Attenborough Nature Reserve is a symbol of hope in a challenging world. It is a natural oasis on the edge of a big city, full of remarkable and beautiful birds and other wildlife.
“Please give as generously as you can to help us make sure this place is forever safe in the hands of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.”
The appeal was launched on Monday 25th November and hundreds of donations have already flooded in from across the county and beyond.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust Chief Executive Paul Wilkinson said: “We’re so excited to finally have the opportunity to secure the long-term future of this remarkable nature reserve. The Attenborough Nature Reserve is part of the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s DNA. It’s the site that provided the spark for our formation and for all we’ve achieved across the county in the past six decades, and we need people to help us ensure that the reserve can be forever safe in our hands.”
Along with Sir David Attenborough, the appeal has been backed by a number of high-profile local backing, including renowned fashion designer, Sir Paul Smith who hails from Beeston, Sat & Amanda Baines who run Michelin star restaurant titled Sat Baines, Baroness Tina Stowell of Beeston, formerly Leader of the House of Lords and now Chair of the Charity Commission, and Sir Martyn Poliakoff of University of Nottingham.
In the first 12 days of the appeal launch, it received more than £130,000 in donations. The Nottinghamshire Wildlife trust then received a “game-changing” £750,000 donation from Biffa Award, moving the appeal in sight of the £1 million target. The Biffa Award grants money to worthwhile community and environmental projets, administing money donated by Biffa Group Ltd through the Landfill Communities Fund.
Despite the fantastic support from Biffa Award and from the public, the charity is not complacent, it still needs to raise a further £120,000 to achieve its appeal target and you can help!
Anyone wishing to donate the Attenborough Nature Reserve Lifeline Appeal can do so online at nottinghamshirewildlife.org/LifelineAppeal or in person at the Attenborough Nature Centre.