Please, will you help us to raise £33,000 for our tractor appeal to protect local wildlife for years to come?
It’s astonishing how much conservation work depends on a single piece of equipment.
After years of sterling service, our 23-year-old tractor is no longer roadworthy, and even when fully fit, it was too heavy to safely use on many of the rugged but sensitive habitats on our nature reserves.
Please, will you consider making a donation towards the £33,000 needed to buy an up to date tractor and equipment to use with it?
The surprising difference a tractor would make for wildlife
Nature reserves are often hard to access and need to be cut at the right time of year, in exactly the right way, with machinery light enough not to damage the sensitive habitats.
Finding a contractor with the right type of tractor, at the right time of year, with the rights skills, is almost impossible. As a result, much of the back-breaking, repetitive work has to be done by volunteers.
Owning the appropriate tools ourselves would allow us to be in full control of the management and ensure we maintain optimum conditions for rare wildlife, whether that be creating niche habitats for rare species, or creating a more varied sward structure, to encourage diversity.
Our staff and volunteers spend around 930 days per year tackling scrub, and managing grassland and meadows. Imagine how much more we could do for wildlife if this time was reduced!
We do understand that you’re unlikely to find a shiny new tractor as inspiring as an appeal targeted at particular habitats or species, but this new machinery really will improve our ability to protect many nature reserves and their precious wildlife long into the future.
Please, will you make a contribution towards our £33,000 tractor fund?
Across the South Gower Coast, West Glamorgan and Carmarthenshire, lack of appropriate machinery means that we are struggling to carry out straightforward management, vital in protecting some of our most vulnerable habitats, such as coastal heath and wet meadows, and rare species including Hoary Rock-rose, Goldilocks Aster, and Marsh Fritillary butterfly, and a whole host of other plants, mammals, reptiles, birds and invertebrates.
As a result, wildlife is at risk on at least 18 nature reserves, covering around 270 hectares. Scrub is encroaching on delicate habitats, wildflower meadow is being lost, the danger of heathland fires is increasing and conservation grazing is difficult, all due encroachment by scrub, a valuable habitat in itself, but one which has become dominant and problematic in many areas, and which a new tractor will allow us to tackle.
If we are to prevent these dangers to wildlife, we need a new tractor that is small and nimble enough to navigate the difficult terrain. A 50-60hp Alpine Tractor, as shown above, with a cut & collect flail mower, would be perfect and tractor and mower will cost £33,000. We hope to raise £23,000 from grants and charitable trusts and £10,000 from this membership appeal.
Many species will benefit from our ability to manage our nature reserves more effectively, such as:
Your donation may be used to match-fund or release grants such as landfill tax or lottery grants, bringing in up to £10 for every £1 donated.