Wildlife workers given grant to help run threatened wood

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WILDLIFE workers who are trying to secure the future of a woodland on the edge of Sheffield were yesterday given two grants to help them to encourage rare wild birds and improve access.

Sheffield Wildlife Trust launched a £1m campaign to buy the 428-acre Greno Woods, north west of the city last year, and its workers must raise the bulk of the money by the end of next month to be successful.

Yesterday’s £150,000 combined donation from the Forestry Commission can only be used for the management of the woodland, meaning the trust has to raise around £130,000 by March 31 to buy the property.

The Commission has given the trust £90,000 to improve habitats which will help birds such as the lesser spotted woodpecker, wood warbler, spotted flycatcher, and redpoll to thrive.

Another £60,000 will help pay for improved public access.

Cassie Slater, of the Wildlife Trust said: “We need the Forestry Commission money for the management of the land, but we can’t use it for the purchase fund.

“We need to hit our fund-raising target to be able to buy 143 hectares of land, and then we hope to buy another 26 hectares at some point in the future.”

Chris Grice, from the Forestry Commission, said the £90,000 wild bird grant was the largest awarded in the country under a scheme with the RSPB.