Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has launched an appeal to save Bay Meadows near Marlborough as a haven for wildlife and people.
The Trust describes the site as a strategically important wildlife corridor. It includes 1.3km of the River Og, a ‘gin-clear’ and internationally rare chalk stream, and 13 hectares of adjacent water meadows.
It is one of the last refuges of the highly endangered water vole, and home to otters, kingfishers and wild brown trout.
Dr Gary Mantle MBE, Chief Executive of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, said: “Bay Meadows is a wonderful space for nature and a vital link between the Marlborough Downs and the River Kennet.
"Please help us save this beautiful site, where we'll create a sanctuary for rare and endangered species, and a special place for visitors to enjoy."
Although its habitats are important, Bay Meadows is at risk from development. Thanks to a generous loan, the site has been temporarily taken off the market, allowing the trust time to raise the necessary funds.
With £90,000 already secured and a grant for £250,000 applied for, the trust must still raise the balance of £60,000.
Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is calling on the public to support this urgent appeal.
Plans to enhance the site include sowing the meadows with seed and green hay to encourage wild flowers, butterflies and other insects, creating new wetland habitat for snipe and other wading birds, planting trees and enhancing the river for fish to spawn in.
Public access will be promoted over part of the site with the installation of a new footbridge and stepping stones over the river, to create links to the existing public bridleway and cycle track as well as the riverside walk. The trust hopes to create many volunteering opportunities, involving the local community in caring for the site and the wildlife found there.
People can find out more and donate by visiting to www.wiltshirewildlife.org/baymeadows