The boss of a Suffolk wildlife charity was 'thrilled' after the organisation hit its £1 million fundraising target to create a new nature reserve on the banks of the river Deben.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust wants to turn the 300-acre site close to Martlesham Creek- which will be known as 'Martlesham Wilds'- into 'a wild place that will be of immense value to local people and wildlife,' as the land opposite the Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon burial site is rich in nature and history. 

READ MORE: New nature reserve Martlesham Wilds boosted by £20k grant

Reacting to the news that the funding goal had been reached, the charity's chief executive Christine Luxton said: “We are thrilled with how local Suffolk communities, businesses and volunteers have come together to help us create this stunning new nature reserve.

East Anglian Daily Times: Redshanks are a familiar sight on the river DebenRedshanks are a familiar sight on the river Deben (Image: Tom Marshall)"By securing this small piece of the Deben landscape, the trust makes a big step forward in helping nature in Suffolk to recover.”

The Deben is a popular feeding ground for a variety of bird species, including shelduck, curlew, lapwing and redshank, while the estuary is recognised as internationally important for waders and wildfowl. 

READ MORE: Suffolk to get a new £1m nature reserve at Martlesham

The proposed nature reserve had been the site of an organic farm for many years, home to an array of plants, animals and invertebrates. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Steve Aylward, head of development and Andrew Excell, south east sites manager Steve Aylward, head of development and Andrew Excell, south east sites manager (Image: Suffolk Wildlife Trust)The trust's vision is to create a space where nature can recover, with rewilding enabling species to set up home, including curlews, avocets and redshanks, as well as reptiles, mammals and invertebrates.

The aim is for thickets of hawthorn, blackthorn, gorse and wild rose to become established, which will support flocks of linnets and yellowhammers, with hopes that nightingales will also return.

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Grass snakes, slow worms and common lizards will also be encouraged, along with barn owls becoming a regular sight at dusk.

East Anglian Daily Times: Christine Luxton, chief executive of Suffolk Wildlife TrustChristine Luxton, chief executive of Suffolk Wildlife Trust (Image: Suffolk Wildlife Trust)The appeal received a boost through a £20,000 windfall from Suffolk Building Society, as the EADT reported in April.

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