£150,000 Grundon donation makes wildlife discovery centre possible

A brand new education and wildlife discovery centre is all set to go ahead thanks to a major donation of £150,000 from Grundon. It is the first major grant received by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust for its ‘Cradle of the Cotswold’s’ project.

The Cradle of the Cotswolds project is based at the Trust’s Greystones Farm nature reserve at Bourton-on-the-Water, one of the UK’s most visited villages in the Cotswolds. Dilapidated farm buildings will be restored into education and exhibition spaces telling the story of the farm, its wildlife and the origins of Bourton since Neolithic times.

Andrew Short, Estates Director and Anthony Foxlee-Brown, Marketing Communications Manager of Grundon Waste Management celebrate the announcement of the announcement of Grundon’s support for the ‘Cradle of the Cotswolds’ project with Roger Mortlock, CEO of the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust

“We are delighted to support this exciting project,” said Andrew Short, Estates Director at Grundon. “The Trust has a long-term vision to transform this farm into somewhere that the children of Gloucestershire, local people and visitors can visit, discover the wildlife and the 6,000 year history at this beautiful nature reserve.”

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT) received a grant of £103,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop and research ideas for a new visitor centre in 2014 and following a successful year of consultation has submitted a further application to fund the project. GWT will know the outcome of the Lottery application in March, but crucial match funding is also needed to start work on the site.

“Greystones Farm nature reserve is an amazing place and has a good claim to being the birthplace of the Cotswolds” says Roger Mortlock CEO of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.

“We are planning a transformation of the site that will cost over £1 million but this incredible commitment from Grundon is a crucial first step in helping to support our plans.

The nature reserve is home to the whole of the Salmonsbury Meadows, a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest, with Salmonsbury Camp Scheduled Ancient Monument to the south and the ramparts that protected the original roundhouses. The nature reserve is only a few minutes’ walk from the centre of Bourton-on-the-Water and has some of the richest and largest examples of unimproved neutral meadows in the Cotswolds with uncommon plants such as southern marsh orchid and early marsh orchid.

The meadows at Greystones Farm are grazed in partnership with Simon Weaver Organic, whose cattle include rare-breed Gloucester cattle, the milk is made into organic Single Gloucester Cheese.

Work is due to commence this spring with completion due in 2018 when the discovery centre will open to the public.

Visit the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust website to find out more www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk

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