Fantastic news for Coombe Bissett! Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is delighted to be awarded National Lottery funding to restore rare chalk downland in Coombe Bissett. We have been awarded a £814,000 National Lottery grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to purchase the 34.5ha of land next to our existing Coombe Bissett Nature Reserve near Salisbury. This will double the size of our current reserve and enable us to restore this important block of chalk grassland. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the restoration process will enable us to return the landscape to its former glory. The Trust will help to further protect, maintain and enhance this habitat and the threatened species it supports. Plans for the three-year project include better interpretation for visitors, improved recording and monitoring of rare species at the reserve. We will create more opportunities for volunteers to get involved in helping to manage this rare and special habitat. There will also be targeted programmes of activity including walks, talks and community-focused events. Dr Gary Mantle MBE, Chief Executive, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust comments “Our successful HLF bid is a fantastic opportunity for us to restore this precious landscape back to chalk downland. We would like to thank our members, volunteers, supporters and the local community in both Coombe Bissett and Salisbury for their support in our bid. We are looking forward to sharing the rewards of this work over the next few years.” John Glen MP for Salisbury added “It is wonderful news that even more of the beautiful and important chalk landscape at Coombe Bissett is to be restored and protected. Congratulations to Wiltshire Wildlife Trust on securing this grant – I very much look forward to seeing the project as it develops.” Deborah James, Parish Clerk for Coombe Bissett Parish Council explains what this means for the local area “This is excellent news. On behalf of Coombe Bissett and Homington Parish Council, we are delighted. This means a great deal to our two villages. It’s a real asset to the wider community and visitors, for generations to come. A big thank you to all who have put so much effort into this achievement.” Join the Friends of Coombe Bissett Down group If you'd like to be kept up to date on our progress on Coombe Bissett Down then why not join our Friends of Coombe Bissett Down group? You'll be kept up to date of what's going on the reserve and how you can get involved. To join or to find out more email the group administrator.