Cloatley Manor habitat restoration

Cloatley Manor is a large parcel of neutral grassland in the Braydon Forest near Malmesbury.

Restore Our Planet helped fund The Wltshire Wildlife Trust to seize the opportunity to acquire 77 acres of adjacent land consisting of 8 fields and a small copse. 3 fields have been notified as SSSI with a further two containing good quality vegetation. Species present include betony, black knapweed, meadow sweet, saw-wort and pepper saxifrage. Each field is surrounded by tall and species rich hedgerows which are themselves bordered by deep ditches and water courses.

Sympathetic management regimes now serve to preserve and restore the landscape and the biodiversity across the site

Langford Fisheries habitat protection

Langford Fisheries is an area of 13 hectares at Steeple Langford near Salisbury, consisting half a mile of exceptional double bank chalk river, which enjoys SSSI status; 20 acres of flooded gravel pits holding an outstanding array of resident and migrant birds; and 13 acres of dry land, including woodland and pasture.

The Wiltshire Wildlife Trust proposed to acquire the land to safeguard the river and manage it as a nature reserve.

Restore Our Planet contributed a grant to the Trust’s acquisition fund as we felt it was crucial that this site be acquired as the alternatives include an organised shoot targeting the existing birds or high intensity fishery, which would have been hugely detrimental to the ecological integrity of this important site.

Blakehill airfield habitat restoration

In 2000 the 235 hectare former Blakehill airfield near Cricklade in Wiltshire became the site of the UK’s largest restoration of an ancient wildflower meadow, meeting 50% of the government’s target for restoring ancient meadows to 2010. Intensified agriculture has resulted in the loss of 97% of UK hay meadows in the last 50 years.

The restoration of Blakehill will bring back wildflowers such as knapweed, devil’s-bit scabious and saw-wort; butterflies including meadow brown, white letter hairstreak and orange tip; and birds such as skylark and curlews. The scrub woodlands at the edge of the fields will also attract nightingales, barn owls and reed buntings.

Funding provided by Restore Our Planet purchased and erected bat and owl boxes in a building to the north-east of the site, near suitable hedgerows and boundaries, and in an old underground bunker on the site. Hedgerow restoration was also undertaken in order to create a vital corridor for wildlife.