‘Missing link’ appeal hits cash target

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has been campaigning to buy land which would connect two parts of Brockadale nature reserve. They were just short until Wentbridge Hotel made a last minute donation. Foreground - Catherine Harrild with Ian Jelley and James Page. Background - Hiram Wildgust/Cynthia Day/Joanna Richards/Lizzie Dealey/Paul and Joyce Simmons. (P512A341)
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has been campaigning to buy land which would connect two parts of Brockadale nature reserve. They were just short until Wentbridge Hotel made a last minute donation. Foreground - Catherine Harrild with Ian Jelley and James Page. Background - Hiram Wildgust/Cynthia Day/Joanna Richards/Lizzie Dealey/Paul and Joyce Simmons. (P512A341)
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A campaign to unify land at a nature reserve in Kirk Smeaton has hit its £40,000 target – with last minute help from a Wentbridge hotel.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s drive to buy land at Brockadale Nature Reserve was boosted at the eleventh hour by a £2,000 donation from the Wentbridge House Hotel.

The deadline for donations was fast approaching when the Great North Road hotel handed over its cheque, which proved the final piece of the puzzle in securing the funds needed to buy much-needed land at the reserve.

Catherine Harrild, from the hotel, said: “I’m so proud of my team and we are delighted that the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has met their target to buy the piece of Brockadale using our donation from Yorkshire Day.”

Wildlife bosses say the nature reserve had previously been fragmented, with landowners selling pieces of land around the reserve at different times.

The Trust launched its appeal in June to raise £40,000 to buy a piece of land which will reconnect two parts of the reserve.

Donations flooded in, but the final boost came last week when Wentbridge House Hotel helped the Trust reach its target.

Lizzie Dealey, fundraising officer for the Trust, said: “It is great the Brockadale Appeal has inspired all sorts of people to get involved and either give a donation or raise funds so that we are now able to purchase this missing link.

“We are very grateful to Wentbridge House Hotel, which has supported us through the appeal for this, their local nature reserve.”

Once purchased, the Trust plans to turn the currently unmanaged grassland and scrub into wildflower meadows, which butterflies and other insects can colonise from the existing site.