Bradfield Woods saved by successful appeal

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image captionThe wildlife trust is planning a new woodland visitor centre at the site for 2011

An ancient woodland in Suffolk has been saved by the public after an appeal for donations to buy the land.

The last 16 acres of Bradfield Woods National Nature Reserve was bought after an appeal by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust (SWT) for £45,000.

The Trust said the woodland was one of the richest in Britain with more than 370 species of flowering plants and around 420 different fungi.

It boasts more than 700 years of recorded history.

Bulldozers halted

SWT development manager Christine Luxton said: "We received a marvellous response from supporters across the entire county and we are delighted to announce that we have now reached our target of £45,000.

"It bodes well for the future of Suffolk's wildlife that so many people have wanted to help."

The land came close to being lost to arable farming in 1970.

As demolition was getting under way, a Tree Preservation Order was secured for the surviving woodland and the bulldozers were halted.

The SWT said securing this final piece of ancient woodland will complete the campaign to save Bradfield Woods.

Ms Luxton said: "Work is also beginning on the green oak centre with the goal of welcoming the first visitors in late summer 2011.

"The building itself is going to be a fascinating story, combining 21st Century engineering and traditional woodsmanship."

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