Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust is excited to announce that today (19/09/14) it has concluded the final phase of its purchase of the former RAF base at Woodhall Spa Airfield. The Trust will now begin the project of developing the former airfield into a picturesque nature reserve rich in wildlife.
The Trust wishes to thank the many supporters who have donated funds to help purchase the airfield. £450,000 was donated by WREN’s Biodiversity Action Fund Land Purchase Programme and a further £100,000 came as a legacy donation from Robert Thomas Pearson. The Trust also received substantial public donations and wishes to thank the many donators and fundraisers who helped make this purchase possible.
Woodhall Spa Airfield was formerly the home of four brave RAF squadrons, including 617 ‘the Dambusters’ Squadron, but more recently was used as a sand and gravel quarry. The Trust will now create a new nature reserve on the site and hopes that people will continue to support the project with donations.
The purchase of Woodhall Spa Airfield comes at a poignant time, exactly 70 years since the last flight of Guy Gibson, leader of the famous Dambusters raid. After the success of the Dambusters raid in 1943 Guy Gibson continued flying missions over Europe until his last flight in 1944. Gibson took off from RAF Woodhall Spa on the 19 September 1944 on a mission over Germany but his plane was lost whilst returning.
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust is keenly aware of the unique heritage of Woodhall Spa Airfield and feels that the tranquillity and natural beauty of a new nature reserve will be a fitting tribute to the many service men and women who gave their lives to protect “our green and pleasant land”.