Trust must raise £1m to save hill that inspired JRR Tolkein

Inspiration for Middle Earth could be sold to developers unless Shrophire Wildlife Trust steps in with offer

Shropshire Wildlife Trust is seeking £1 million of donations to save the hill that inspired author JRR Tolkien. The future of Wrekin Hill as an area of natural beauty is uncertain following land agent FPD Savills’ marketing of a 50ha plot to be divided up for private sale. FPD Savills is asking for £500,000, which is £300,000 more than the district valuer rated the privately owned site. Shropshire Wildlife Trust wants to double this figure with public donations to ensure that the area can be properly maintained in the future. The Heritage Lottery Fund has committed £350,000 but the trust must meet the shortfall by the end of February or its donation will expire. It has received £35,000 in public donations. Trust director Colin Preston said: “You can see the Wrekin from one end of the county to the other; it’s an unmistakable landmark. This site has a place in the hearts of many people. Now we are asking for help to secure its future.” For more details, go to www. The Wildlife Trusts’ programme of events for 2005 includes the £110,000 restoration of the greenhouse in Greenway’s Walled Garden’s vinery, Devon. The Japanese Tea Garden restoration at Kingston Lacey will end in June. Plans for the final stages of the £450,000 restoration of Prior Park landscape garden’s Wilderness area in Bath are in place. Ightham Mote in Kent will celebrate 20 years under trust ownership with a series of events.

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