A £177,000 Government grant has been awarded to Staffordshire Wildlife Trust to enable them to complete the purchase of a quarry that will become a nature reserve.
The trust was one of only 17 organisations in the UK to receive a grant from the Social Investment Business Group, in order to complete the £340,000 purchase of Tucklesholme Quarry on the banks of the River Trent near Barton.
The trust received the money to purchase the 130-acre working gravel pit, previously owned by Aggregate Industries.
Guy Corbett-Marshall, chief executive of SWT, said: “Everybody involved in this project is delighted the purchase has finally gone through, and on behalf of the trust I would like to extend our utmost thanks to all the funders and also to the members of the public who have donated to our public appeal. We are excited to start work on turning Tucklesholme Quarry into one of Staffordshire’s finest nature reserves.
“The site will remain a working gravel pit for the next few years, during which our conservation experts will liaise with the quarry operators to create the right shapes, slopes and islands needed to create habitats that are perfect for wildlife. Access to the site is available right now via a series of footpaths, so visitors have an exciting chance to see a nature reserve in the making.”
Plans for the site include new channels to connect the lakes to the River Trent to allow wildlife to move freely, a series of complex pools and scrapes to attract wading birds including the bittern, and diverse bankside meadows for insects and butterflies.
The purchase was also made possible thanks to a £65,000 grant from the National Forest Company, a £20,000 grant from East Staffordshire Borough Council, a successful public appeal raising over £25,000 and a £1,000 donation from a councillor.