Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust celebrate grant with Big Bourton Picnic

Monday 15th August 2016

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT) celebrated being awarded over £1,000,000 with the Big Bourton Picnic, an annual family event, on Sunday 14th August. The charity will use the funding to transform the barns at Greystones Farm nature reserve, Bourton-on-the-Water, into a hands-on Heritage Education and Discovery centre

GWT were awarded a £676,700 grant from the Heritage Lottery to transform the barns at Greystones Farm nature reserve into a hands-on Heritage Education and Discovery centre. Funding was unlocked thanks to generous contributions from various organisations including Grundon Waste Management and Summerfield Charitable Trust, totaling over £1,000,000.

The sun shone for the Big Bourton Picnic and families gathered from Bourton-on-the-Water and the surrounding area to enjoy live music, Iron Age cooking, wildlife activities and more at this fun-filled and informative day for all. The crowd were treated to a performance from Friends Ukenited, a gathering of ukulele players; created fantastical tales with Bristol-based story-teller, Michael Loader; whilst Men in Shed invited people to hit the ‘castle target’ with their homemade trebuchet.

“A fantastic day was had by all and it’s great to be able to launch such an exciting project with an event that celebrates the wildlife and heritage of the site, alongside fun performances and local groups. The contributions we’ve received will allow us to make Greystones Farm a place where we can welcome people of all ages and abilities to discover what is special about the Cotswold’s countryside.” Said Jenny Stevens of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.

Greystones Farm nature reserve is a unique place, having been occupied and farmed for around 6000 years, and is home to the Scheduled Ancient Monument, Salmonsbury Camp, the only lowland fortified settlement in England.

The nature reserve is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) with rare flower-rich river meadows of utmost conservation importance. The meadows are grazed in partnership with Simon Weaver Organic, who uses the milk from the cows to make single Gloucester cheese.

The creation of a heritage education and discovery centre has been made possible by the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and huge support from Grundon Waste Management. As a result, GWT will be able to continue holding community events and weave together the important stories of archaeology, agriculture and wildlife for visitors.

GWT is extremely grateful to local landfill company Grundon Waste Management who, on hearing the county charity’s ambitions for the farm, donated the match funding through the Landfill Communities Fund to unlock the HLF funding.

Andrew Short, Estates Manager at Grundon, said: “Greystones is unique, and Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust has the experience and knowledge to bring it to life for local and national education and tourism. Grundon had no hesitation in supporting a project which will benefit a huge number of people.”  

Special thanks also go to University of Durham LIFE + Project, Active Together, St James Place Foundation, Blatchington Court Trust, MV Millhouse Trust, The Verdon-Smith Family Charitable Trust, Miss Edith Mary Sage Charitable Trust, Rowlands Trust and Gordon Gray Trust for their generous contributions to the project.