Trust delighted at meadow sale
Members of the public have helped buy a 19-acre meadow to preserve the land and its wildlife for future generations.
The land near Loughborough is one of the largest of about 20 Lammas meadows remaining in the country.
It was bought for £75,000 by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust after an appeal was launched for donations in June.
The trust had been concerned about overgrazing on the meadow, as it was being used as a pony paddock.
The meadow is part of the Loughborough Big Meadow nature reserve, an area of land to the north of Loughborough alongside the River Soar and Meadow Lane.
The trust said now it owns the site, it can help protect the habitat with better conditions for wildlife.
The trust's director, Simon Bentley, said: "We are delighted to have acquired this new area of Loughborough Big Meadow and would like to thank all those who generously donated to our appeal fund.
"Local people have always played a vital role in our organisation and they responded magnificently once again.
"We thought the area was rich in wildlife potential so we launched the appeal to buy it.
"We're now going to look after it in a traditional way of treating a meadow, with low-level grazing and hay cutting to hopefully safeguard the Loughborough Big Meadow for future generations."
The donations were collected in the memory of the trust's former chairman, Derek Lott, who died of cancer, in June, aged 57.
Mr Bentley added: "Derek offered great support to myself and the trust for a number of years. He was a great character and wonderful naturalist.
"He loved the meadow and the area we've bought was one of his favourite areas for his beetle observing."
The Loughborough Big Meadow nature reserve is known as a Lammas meadow – an area of land subjected to a highly organised form of traditional management. Much of the site is designated to scientific study and contains a very rich diversity of plants and wildlife.
Supporters of the trust are delighted the area is now in safe hands.
Maggie Morland, 57, from Quorn, said: "It's fantastic and really good that there's been so much support for the wildlife.
"The purchase will hopefully extend resources for inhabitants and link areas together so the wildlife is not restricted to one site."
Money also came from Lafarge Aggregates and Concrete and Peter De Haan Charitable Trust.