Urgent: Wrabness Land Purchase Appeal

Thursday 12th October 2017

Please help! We have a fantastic opportunity to protect and connect two important areas for wildlife, through a land purchase at beautiful Wrabness, on the Stour Estuary. However, we only have just over three weeks to raise the £57,500 needed to complete the purchase.

 

You can also phone 01621 862964 or email admin@essexwt.org.uk to donate
 

Can you help us to purchase some important land, which will provide a crucial, safe corridor for wildlife?

Our Wrabness nature reserve is a 52-acre nature reserve situated on the beautiful southern bank of the Stour Estuary. We have the opportunity to buy 4.2 acres of grazing marsh, which is strategically important for wildlife, because it is situated between the nature reserve and green burial ground which will become a Trust nature reserve. This land acquisition opportunity will enable wildlife to move safely between these two important areas of green space.

We have an exciting opportunity to purchase this grazing marsh for £57,500. We have just exchanged on this land and only have just over three weeks before completion – we need your urgent help now.

In 2006 Wrabness nature reserve was transferred to Essex Wildlife Trust from the Wrabness Nature Reserve Charitable Trust. The Charitable Trust bought the nature reserve in 1992. This stunning area for wildlife has been saved from development on a number of occasions.

The site was established as a mine depot in 1921 by the Ministry of Defence but was progressively run down from 1945 and closed in 1963. Then the site was transferred to the Home Office in 1968 when a prison was proposed for the site; this was abandoned in 1974. The land was sold in 1979 to a developer, whose plans for a caravan site and holiday village were rejected in 1980 and 1987. The Home Office then re-acquired the site in 1989 and again proposed the development of a prison. So when offered for sale in 1992 it was bought by the Charitable Trust. The local people fought these developments and saved this wonderful area of land – which is now safe in perpetuity with Essex Wildlife Trust.

Oakfield Wood is the 7-acre green burial ground overlooking the Stour Estuary. For each burial a native broadleaved tree is planted. When the burial ground is completed it will be managed as an Essex Wildlife Trust nature reserve. What could be more fitting than to now expand this nature reserve, purchase some important grazing marsh and connect it to the green burial site which is to become an Essex Wildlife Trust nature reserve?

The Stour Estuary is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and of international importance (RAMSAR) due to its importance to wetland and wading birds in Jacques Bay. During the winter there are good numbers of Black-tailed Godwit, Oystercatcher, Grey Plover, Red-breasted Merganser, Brent Goose, Dunlin, Shelduck, Redshank, Curlew and many more.

The nature reserve is primarily open grassland, with ponds, a freshwater marsh, scrub and woodland fringe. The reserve is excellent habitat for a number of birds including Yellowhammer, Whitethroat, Turtle Dove, Song Thrush, Nightingale, Cuckoo, Bullfinch and Barn Owl. In autumn and winter Short-eared Owls regularly hunt over the coarse grassland. There are good numbers of wildflowers with a host of butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies.

We need 2,300 people to donate £25 each to buy this important land. As your local conservation charity we have to respond to opportunities to take on the best areas for wildlife as they arise and this is one of those opportunities – please help this acquisition come to fruition.