‘We are completely astonished’: Land bid successful as trust raises £100,000 in just two days
A community land trust is “over the moon” to have raised £100,000 in the space of just two days to purchase important conservation land in south Shropshire.
Members of the Middle Marches Community Land Trust have celebrated after their bid to buy Norbury Hill, situated between the Stiperstones and Long Mynd, was successful.
The 94-acre land had an asking price of about £200,000, and a fellow supporter pledged the other half.
The team were alerted on Sunday, September 27, that the land was available to bid for, and had until Tuesday, September 29, to secure the funds.
Trust member Oliver Goode said they were thrilled their bid was successful and the purchase of the land will join together two currently separated sites, the Stiperstones and Long Mynd, vital for nature conservation and therefore creating a wildlife corridor.
"It is all very exciting," he said. "We knew of the application last Sunday and had until the end of play Tuesday to get £100,000. Well, we hit the target.
"We are completely astonished really – this was not something we expected. We heard on Thursday that it was all going to happen and we are sharing the land with one of our supporters, who pledged the other half. The process of buying the land is under way.
"What really made a difference to me was when people actually came up to my house and knocked on the door and gave me a cheque, because they didn't want to miss out on the deadline. It was incredible. We are just so grateful to everybody."
Norbury Hill is part grassland and part bracken, Mr Goode said, and they will be undertaking surveys and working with experts to see how best to move forward and conserve the land.
Norbury Hill has been described as 'the largest stepping stone' between two important sites of conservation, the Long Mynd and the Stiperstones.
It boasts good examples of wetland plant communities, which flourish next to several small streams running down off the steep high ground. It also hosts a once common, but now endangered insect, the small pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly. The hill also supports many breeding meadow pipits and is a feeding ground for Kestrel, Curlew and Snipe.
Mr Goode added: “We are just over the moon and so grateful. We will be writing to everybody who contributed and keep them posted on what’s next.”