Help save Laurie Lee’s much loved woodland

Stroud News and Journal: Gordon McGlone, chief executive of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust pictured in Slad with Trantershill on the opposite side of the valley and Laurie Lee (inset) Gordon McGlone, chief executive of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust pictured in Slad with Trantershill on the opposite side of the valley and Laurie Lee (inset)

GLOUCESTERSHIRE Wildlife Trust has launched an appeal to safeguard a woodland once owned and adored by Laurie Lee.

Trantershill Wood in the Slad Valley, described by the trust as a piece of 'literary heritage', has been put up for sale by the writer's family.

Dr Gordon McGlone, chief executive of GWT, said the charity urgently needed to raise £35,000 to acquire the wood and ensure its future conservation.

He said: "I can think of no other campaign like this, where we have the chance not only to protect a vital piece of habitat but also to commemorate publicly a great man's contribution to the nation's literature."

The ancient wood is three hectares in total and is bursting with an abundance of native flora and fauna, including rare species, such as white helleborine and carpets of bluebells in spring.

It is next to the trust's existing nature reserve at Swift's Hill. The two together would create over 13 hectares of 'living landscape' in the Stroud Valleys, according to Dr McGlone.

Laurie Lee's daughter Jessy has lent her support to the trust's campaign.

"I am convinced that Laurie would have been delighted knowing that the future of his beloved woods is hopefully going to be secured," she said.

"The trust can protect this precious woodland for the benefit of the environment, wildlife and for future generations to enjoy."

Bishop's Cleeve-based waste management firm Grundon has already pledged £5,000 to the appeal through the Landfill Communities Fund.

The company's chief executive Richard Skehens, said: "To many people, the writings of Laurie Lee - the author of Cider with Rosie and the well known naturalist - capture the splendour of the Gloucestershire countryside.

"Grundon is delighted to support the Trust's new fundraising campaign to maintain this ancient woodland for the long term enjoyment of future generations."

GWT say the wood is an 'irreplaceable resource' and they desperately need donations from individuals and businesses to preserve it as a habitat for rare and threatened species.

Donations can be made at: www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk/trantershillappeal or by telephone on 01452 383333

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