Building materials supplier CEMEX is pleased to confirm that the sale of its award-winning Attenborough Nature Reserve to the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has been finalised. The Trust has been keen to purchase the reserve for many years, and this has become possible thanks to a £750,000 grant from Biffa Award and public backing for the Trust’s Attenborough Lifeline Appeal.
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, which has managed the site for over 50 years, launched its Lifeline Appeal campaign for funding to purchase the reserve in November 2019 – following the end of CEMEX’s commercial sand and gravel extraction which helped shape the site for almost a century. It is now a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. Such is the popularity of the nature reserve, an area of restored former sand and gravel quarries alongside the River Trent south of Nottingham, that the charity reached its ambitious £1 million target in a matter of weeks – enabling negotiations over the sale of the site to begin.
“After more than half a century of partnership, we are enormously pleased to see the transfer of this amazing and award-winning site to the Trust being completed. To see Attenborough evolve into such an important nature reserve in such close proximity to major population centres has been most rewarding. Our partnership with the Trust – which has included the establishment of the impressive Visitor Centre with support from the company’s own Landfill Communities Fund – has been a major success and we look forward to the Trust taking ownership as the site moves on to the next phase in its development,” said Stephen Redwood, Land Development and Permitting Director for CEMEX Europe.
Now, with contracts signed and exchanged, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is planning for the long-term future of the site, which provides a safe haven for over 1,000 species including otters and bitterns and welcomes an estimated half a million visitors each year.
Since being opened by Sir David Attenborough in 1966 Attenborough Nature Reserve, situated on the edge of Nottingham, has become one of the best loved nature reserves in the UK. The Trust has worked closely with CEMEX over this period to create a reserve which is an excellent example of how industry can work with conservation bodies to create a site high in biodiversity which is of national importance.
Speaking on behalf of the Trust, Chief Executive Paul Wilkinson said: “The support of Biffa Award and the backing of the public and our supporters has delivered a prize that we have been working with CEMEX to achieve for some time. Attenborough is a cherished site, where so many come to connect with nature. Our aspiration has always been to take the site into our ownership so that we can plan for its long-term future and that future begins today. We would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone that has made it possible including Biffa Award, our supporters and CEMEX.”