Laurie Lee woodland in Slad safeguarded after £35,000 appeal
LANDSCAPE that inspired Laurie Lee's famous "Cider with Rosie" has been safeguarded for future generations after a £35,000 appeal.
Ancient woodland at Slad once owned by the late author and nature lover has been bought by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and will be managed and preserved by it for public enjoyment.
The trust's new chief executive officer Roger Mortlock was at The Woolpack, the pub in Lee's home village near Stroud, for the announcement of the purchase of the three hectare Trantershill Wood.
The trust had been overwhelmed by support for its appeal for funds from all over the UK, Mr Mortlock said.
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There'd been almost 1,000 donations towards buying the piece of literary heritage in just six weeks and Mr Mortlock said: "We knew that this was a special place and that there would be amazing support to secure it from our members.
"But we have been truly overwhelmed by the support. It's great to know that in the middle of a recession people still value this county's stunning countryside."
Lee's portrait of bygone life in the Slad valley was unforgettable and Mr Mortlock said he was thrilled, especially as Trantershill was next door to the trust's existing Swift's Hill nature reserve.
"The landscape that inspired the classic Cider with Rosie will be protected," he said.
Lee's daughter Jessy said she was delighted and relieved by the trust's purchase.
Trantershill Wood would be "in the best possible hands", she said.
Trantershill is ancient woodland of Beech and some Yew, Wych Elm and Elder.
It contains rare orchids, a bluebell carpet and even roe deer.
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust will now create an entrance to Trantershill from Swift's Hill and a permissive footpath.
An official opening of the new nature reserve will follow in the spring.
The trust's Frith Wood, Elliott (Swift's Hill), and Snow's Farm nature reserves are all also in Slad.