Lackford Lakes celebrated a milestone birthday and took a big step towards a significant extension at the weekend.
Suffolk Wildlife Trust marked the former quarry’s 30th anniversary as a nature reserve on Saturday, while one of the site’s most passionate supporters made a donation.
Veteran naturalist Bernard Tickner donated £65,000 towards extending the site by 77 acres, during a weekend of celebrations to mark Lackford Lakes’ transformation from quarry to haven for wildlife.
Mr Tickner effectively founded the reserve in 1987 when he purchased part of the site. He gifted the land, known as The Slough, to the trust to be managed for wildlife. In 1999, Atlas Aggregates gifted the remaining site.
Now, the trust is campaigning to raise £200,000 to buy a 77-acre parcel of land neighbouring Lackford to safeguard an area where stone curlew have flourished.
Mr Tickner’s donation, which follows a previous gift of £35,000, means the appeal has now reached £179,650 since it was launched on September 1.
Suffolk Wildlife Trust chief executive Julian Roughton said: “There is no doubt that without Bernard Tickner, Lackford Lakes as it is now would not exist.”
Activities during the weekend included pond-dipping, bug-hunting, moth-trapping and fete-style games.