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Fakenham charity stunned by community generosity

PUBLISHED: 09:06 20 October 2017

The Sculthorpe Moor Community Nature Reserve. Picture: Ian Burt

The Sculthorpe Moor Community Nature Reserve. Picture: Ian Burt

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A charity near Fakenham has been left stunned by the success of their fund raising campaign, which aims to raise enough money to allow them to significantly expand their premises.

The Sculthorpe Moor Community Nature Reserve. Picture: Ian BurtThe Sculthorpe Moor Community Nature Reserve. Picture: Ian Burt

The Hawk and Owl Trust said they have been overwhelmed by the number of donations and have raised over £200,000 in just five months.

Members of the public are being asked to sponsor a parcel of the land to help raise the funds and on the first day of the campaign they raised £11,000.

It was launched in May with a two-year target of raising £850,000 to allow them to purchase land encircling the Sculthorpe Moor Community Nature Reserve.

If they are successful wil will more than triple the size of the protected area and prevent the land from being sold on the open market.

Su Gough, communication and PR officer, said: “We have been amazed at the generosity of the public so far in this appeal. It shows that those who have discovered the reserve, which seems to be a bit of a badly-kept secret, really do value the reserve and are showing this by donating to the appeal.

“We still have a long way to go, but it is so heartening to see the future of this land - and the wildlife on it - coming into reach for us.”

The appeal is part of a larger fund raising challenge that requires the charity to raise £1.7m over the next two years, which will be enough to secure the land and allow them to build the infrastructure required for the expanded reserve.

The land, known as Sculthorpe Fen, has been maintained by The Hawk and Owl Trust on behalf of the current landowners for a number of years.

But the charity says that aslong as it is kept as agricultural land the potential for wildlife will never be fulfilled. By purchasing it they will be able to develop it for the benefit of wildlife as well as allow visitors access to the land.

Their long term vision is to create a rich ecosystem that co-exists within the local community with habitat management achieved through the use of traditional rare breed livestock. They will also make it accessible to everyone, through boardwalks and wheel-chair friendly paths built throughout.

The progress of the appeal can be followed on www.sculthorpefen.co.uk.

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