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New lease of life for wildlife in Twyford

Endangered species of birds and animals in Twyford have been given a new lease of life following a £10,000 donation from The Southern Co-operative to Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to help it purchase a 31-acre farm.

Hockley Meadows Farm – situated alongside the B335 in Twyford – sits within a significant area of floodplain meadow, which supports key species such as water vole, otter, marsh marigold and the rare southern damselfly.

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust urgently needed to raise £200,000 in order to complete the purchase – and in February the charity announced that it had smashed that target, generating £232,000.

Stephanie Watson, Fundraising Officer at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said: “The Southern Co-operative's contribution of £10,000 really tipped the balance in our fundraising work, and we are hugely grateful for their support.”

British White cattle © Rachel Remnant

Gemma Lacey, Director Sustainability & Communications at The Southern Co-operative, said: “We are delighted to support the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust in their project. We work jointly with the 10 Wildlife Trusts in the Southern regions – from Somerset to Berkshire and across Hampshire, Sussex and Kent – to share ideas and inspire our colleagues, members and others to discover their wild side and green their neighbourhood.

“We also work with those Trusts to help families to get outside and explore their local wild neighbourhoods. Whether it's investigating animal tracks and signs, hunting for bugs and butterflies, or creating a wildlife-friendly garden, there's lots people can do to support wildlife on their doorsteps.”

The Southern Co-operative has donated over £45,000 – as well as working to champion local wildlife at their Oaks Crematorium in Hampshire and Clayton Wood Natural Burial Ground in West Sussex – in a partnership with the region's Wildlife Trusts that spans seven years.

The Southern Co-operative is an independently owned regional co-operative society based in southern England.

Left: Gemma Lacey, Director of Sustainability and Communications at The Southern Co-operative, rolls up her sleeves for the Wildlife Trusts.