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Norfolk ‘jewel’ bought for £50,000

L-R, FT chairman Trevor Williams and trustees Jane Williams and Peter Maingay outside Spurrell's Wood.Picture: Felbeck Trust

L-R, FT chairman Trevor Williams and trustees Jane Williams and Peter Maingay outside Spurrell's Wood.Picture: Felbeck Trust

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A wildlife conservation charity has bought five acres of woodland in north Norfolk for £50,000 to preserve some valuable natural habitat for future generations.

The Gur Beck, a tributary of Scarrow Beck and River Bure, running through Spurrell'’s Wood. Picture: Trevor WilliamsThe Gur Beck, a tributary of Scarrow Beck and River Bure, running through Spurrell'’s Wood. Picture: Trevor Williams

The Felbeck Trust purchased Spurrell’s Wood, opposite Sustead Common, from a farmer, and the deal has reunited the three parts of the common that were divided up in the 1970s.

Trust chairman Trevor Williams said it was a “jewel”.

He added: “The farmer had no plans for it, and was not managing it, so I don’t know what would have happened to it if we had not bought it. I suppose the trees could have been cut down and it could have been sold off.”

The wood represents a real wildlife oasis in an intensely agricultural area, he said.

“It is home to 67 species of birds, 160 different plants, eight species of fern, nine species of bats and about 230 special moths,” he added.

“A little over a year ago, when we were first offered the chance to buy Spurrell’s Wood, the challenge of raising £50,000 seemed pretty daunting, to say the least.

“But that target has been reached and the wood secured for the benefit of wildlife and those who understand and appreciate the value of nature around them.

“By purchasing this site we have reunited the former Sustead Common and, through our careful habitat restoration and management work, we will be providing a place, in the heart of the Norfolk countryside, where wildlife can flourish in the future.”

He thanked everyone for their contributions and donations towards the cost of the wood. He added: “That includes our patron, Tasso Leventis, The Postcode Local Trust, which gave the largest amount, £20,000, The Geoffrey Watling Charity and the North East Norfolk Bird Club, as well as many individual donors.

“Over the next six months the trust and volunteers will be working hard to complete further habitat restoration and improvements.”

The site is made up of mixed woodland including oak, beech, and rare hornbeam trees, Mr Williams added. In the future the site will be accessible to visitors, while retaining privacy for wildlife.

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