A new fund for the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has been launched with a generous donation from a successful Wellington business. The first gift of £250 to the Blackdown Hills Countryside Fund came from Kingfisher Packaging, based at Wrangway.
Kingfisher has for several years hosted a flock of willow sheep that welcome visitors to the area. Recently, the sheep were repaired by artists Stefan Jennings and Sophie Courtiour with the help of volunteers from Sampford Arundel WI.
The company’s managing partner George Martin was so delighted with the volunteers’ hard work that he decided to mark the occasion by making the very first donation to the Blackdown Hills Countryside Fund.
“Kingfisher Packaging is very much rooted in the area and we’re happy that the willow sheep are here, marking the gateway to the Blackdown Hills,” said Mr Martin.
“The volunteers have done a brilliant job smartening them up, and we wanted to follow their example and put something back. The Blackdown Hills is such a beautiful area and I’m delighted that our donation will be supporting projects that will look after it for the future.”
The fund has been set up to ensure that the landscape remains special for generations to come. Individuals, organisations and businesses can donate to build up funds which will be awarded to nature and heritage projects in local communities.
Like all donations made before April 2015, the company’s donation has been immediately increased by 50%, funded by a government scheme. Gift Aid further increases donations by 25%. As the fund builds up, a panel of representatives from local communities and the Blackdown Hills AONB Partnership will make awards to carefully chosen local projects. The purpose of all these grants will be to support the natural beauty and communities of the Blackdown Hills.
The fund is administered by the Devon Community Foundation, a registered charity that works throughout Devon to help groups make a real, lasting difference to local lives. To find out more, including how to donate, go to www.blackdownhillscountrysidefund.org.uk