Somerset Wildlife Trust

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Westhay Moor Appeal

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If you haven’t been to Westhay Moor yet it’s definitely worth a visit.

Reclaimed from the ruins of industrial-scale peat extraction, this incredible wetland reserve is a mosaic of lakes, reedbeds and wet woodland, as well as containing the largest fragment of lowland acid mire in the south west - and is home to some of Somerset’s most iconic species such as Bittern and Great White Egret and critically endangered plants such as the incredible Round-leaved Sundew. 

This very special place now needs your help

Water is the lifeblood of Westhay. Keeping wet habitats wet and at the right acidity level all year-round to support our vulnerable habitats and species is a huge challenge. To do this, we have to use diesel pumps to pump water from our lakes and reedbeds and redistribute it to areas such as the mire to keep them from drying out.

But even with doing this we are struggling to hold water on the reserve, particularly to the south west side of the reserve where, over the years, water has been artificially drained continually to commercially extract peat. Precious water from our reserve has then filled that void.

But there is some really good news - extraction on the site has now finally ended and we have been given an amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity to buy this 11 acre piece of land.

Bringing the land under our care means we will be able to raise Westhay’s boundaries in the south west corner and to hold water on the reserve, ending our reliance on diesel pumps and helping improve stability in these rare and beautiful habitats. Keeping the peat wet has the added benefit of retaining more carbon in the ground, something that is so important today given the need to reduce our carbon emissions to mitigate the impact of climate change.

We can literally transform the future of this most precious place for wildlife and for people.

But we only have a small window of opportunity to buy this land.  We have £68,000 towards the land purchase, but urgently need to raise the remaining £60,000 to ensure that this land comes under our care. Raising this money will also help us improve access to the reserve so that more people can visit and see the amazing difference this purchase will make. 

So please, if you can, support the Westhay Moor Appeal.  Donations large or small, really can make a difference. 

You can donate by clicking the button to the left. Alternatively you can donate over the phone by calling 01823 652429 or you can send a cheque made payable to Somerset Wildlife Trust to
34 Wellington Road, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 5AW.

Thank you for your support.

p.s. If we are fortunate enough to exceed our appeal target, we absolutely guarantee that any additional
funds will go straight back into managing and developing our nature reserves for the benefit of wildife. 

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Photos: Amy Lewis, Graham Hall, Michele Bowe, John Crispin, Alexander Eric Hasse, Jerry Hawker, Hectonichus, Lynne Newton, Jack Perks, Brian Phipps, Peter Reynolds, Ben Simmonds