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Your help needed to save Frome meadows for future generations

A FROME woman has launched an urgent campaign to save a Frome beauty spot from development, and is calling on the people of Frome to help. frome, somerset, elaine ewens, frome meadows,

Elaine Ewens hopes the town can raise £200,000 over the next few weeks to save land at Styles Hill for future generations – or at least show enough support to stall the sale of the site until a proper fundraising campaign can be launched.

Having been uncultivated for some years, it is now reverting to meadows complete with butterflies, birds, native grasses and insects.

But the land is going up for auction with a guide price of £200,000 and, with its ideal location, Elaine fears the meadow will be lost to housing or other development.

Situated on the outskirts of Frome, the land covers around 29.5 acres and is crossed by Rodden Lake Stream.  Elaine explained, “It’s a really valuable amenity, it’s used by dog walkers, it’s a joy because you can walk through countryside on the way into town. Children use it to camp out in summer.

“I would like it to be protected for wildlife and for the youth of Frome, and to have it as a place that’s good for everybody. It’s been proven that contact with nature is so incredibly uplifting to people’s mood and wellbeing.

“I grew up in this area, and moved back a couple of years ago. I live in a  town and can still access all this country – it’s a real blessing. I would be really sad to lose that.”

In the UK, only 2% of the meadows and grasslands that existed in the 1930s remain. They are valued for being diverse habitats, rich in a range of wildlife.

Elaine added, “We have lost a lot of meadows, we’re only just beginning to understand how important they are to us. To lose this one would be criminal.”

Elaine took her campaign to the town council last week, and hopes it will be able to help with funding. She is also approaching charities and trusts for funding. But with the site going to auction on the 24th September, the appeal is an urgent one.

She says, “It’s a huge ask. But if there are 200 people out there with £1,000, then we’ve got it. If there are 1,000 people out there with £200 then again, we’ve raised it.”

Elaine is asking residents to pledge money, show their support by signing the petition at Frome Wholefoods in Cheap Street, offering help and advice in setting up an online campaign, and helping find potential funders.

She said, “We’re really asking people to appreciate just how rich this is and what an amazing resource it is, for both wildlife and for the people of Frome.”

You can contact Elaine at elaine_ewens@yahoo.co.uk

 

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