A CHARITY is hoping to raise £50,000 to buy 100 acres of farmland near Kidderminster and restore the land as heathland habitat for wildlife.

Dropping Well Farm, situated between Kidderminster and Bewdley, has been intensively farmed for decades but a £1.4 million project aims to create the county's largest heathland habitat.

The farm sits in the middle of a series of nature reserves, including the Devil's Spittleful, Blackstone Farm Fields, the Rifle Range and Burlish Top.

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust says Dropping Well Farm is the "missing piece of the wild jigsaw" and wants to combine the 650 acres of land and restore the heathland habitat to help wildlife thrive.

The charity has already raised most of the money to buy the farm, but is appealing for donations to make up the final £50,000 by the deadline next month.

Colin Raven, director of Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, said: “We are in the final few weeks of fundraising to purchase land at Dropping Well Farm near Kidderminster.

"We plan over time to convert these 95 acres of land back to heathland.

“This purchase is vital as it will enable us to connect up our two existing nature reserves in the area, the Devil’s Spittleful and Blackstone Farm Fields, along with the Wyre Forest District Council’s nature reserves at the Rifle Range, Burlish Top and Burlish Meadows.

"This combined connected area is over 600 acres and will make it one of the largest areas managed for nature in the West Midlands as well as the largest block of heathland in Worcestershire.

“If successful with our fundraising appeal, where we are looking to raise the final £50,000 of match funding, we hope to then be successful in an application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund in order to complete the purchase, undertake restoration work and engage the local community in Kidderminster, Bewdley and Stourport.

“We encourage anyone who is in a position to do so who wants to see amazing area protected for wildlife to support our fundraising appeal.”

The trust says Worcestershire has lost around 98 per cent of its lowland heathlands over the last 150 years. The county has just 603 acres remaining or undergoing restoration.

Once established as a nature reserve, Dropping Well Farm will be opened up to the public with a nature trail linking it to surrounding reserves.

To donate, go to worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/heathland-hero.