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Donations & Gifts

Why we need Donations and Gifts

LWT is a charity managed entirely by volunteers, run on annual subscriptions and receives no funding from the borough council, but a significant majority of the conservation work across Sandford and Lavell’s is via volunteer work parties in cooperation and permission with Dinton Pastures Countryside Service, but access to their tools and resources is not guaranteed in the future, meaning we need funds to buy and maintenance our own tools.

With Lea Farm Lake (LFL) being owned by Ron and passing over to LWT, we own all the maintenance and management costs and these are set to rise as we fence the whole perimeter, start cattle grazing and commence a full scale management plan to keep habitats in optimal condition.

Tern rafts are labour intensive and pricey things to maintain, invasive weeds like Crassula are very problematic and hard to get rid of, then we have to keep trespassers out.

Coupled with everything we carry out a multitude of task over a typical year, these include:

  • year-round feeding for tits and finches
  • cutting and managing Phragmites reed-beds
  • maintenance and repair of hides, paths and fences
  • maintaining Sand Martin wall
  • maintaining Tern rafts
  • cutting back vegetation to keep attracting wildfowl and waders
  • scrub and tree management (35-40% of our annual tasks)
  • planting new shrubs

The big picture and vision for the future

We do apply for grant funding from time to time, we were successful in applying to Thames Water in 2017 for a habitat improvement project carried out over a year. We received £15,250.00 to improve Lavell’s Tern scrape, excavate new reed beds, create a wet grass meadow and install new fencing, viewing screens and a solar powered irrigation pump for the scrape – the first of it’s kind in Berkshire.

Right now (June 2019) we have a live grant application with Network Rail for £42,200.00 to provide significant new Phragmites reed beds and extensive marshlands along the NE bay and East Shore of Lea Farm Lake (LFL). We will be awarded the grant subject to EA and planning consents, which in turn will cost over £2,000.00 to even apply, so face a hefty financial risk if we are turned down.

State of the art new hide

Assuming we are successful we are committed to building another fantastic, show piece hide overlooking the brilliant new habitats at LFL where we’re creating ideal conditions to attract breeding Little-ringed Plover, Redshank, Lapwing & Oystercatcher, along with many passage species and many more wintering dabbling and grazing ducks like Teal and Wigeon.

At this early stage we think the hide is going to cost in excess of £25,000.00, so not something we can just write a cheque for, so a formal appeal is going to be set up in the near future. You can visit our Virgin Money donate page right now, see below.

The vision is to purchase to sea containers and have them adapted to make a two storey hide, with an additional roof deck for sky watching and views across the area. We aim to fit the hide with solar panels and provide USB charging ports for phones and camera batteries, we might even consider a kettle. The solar power will be principally for powering security CCTV and webcams on the lake.

Buying more land and providing parking

The long term challenges are;

  1. Parking
  2. Funding Lea Farm & Lavell’s Lake – Costs may double as land ownership brings greater liabilities

So we are looking for ways to achieve this. The funding goal for the next 5 years is to widen our audience and grow our membership to 1000 members, with an average subscription including annual donation of £20.00, meaning an income of £20,000.00 per year, with expected outgoings of £5,000.00.

When we sustain membership around the 1000 level we can approach Summerleaze Ltd, with a bid for the neighbouring ‘Lodge Wood Lake’, where the boundary has suitable space for a car park for around 30 cars. Based on previous dialogue, we expect Summerleaze Ltd, to ask for at least £175,000.00 for this lake.

If we get this, we can connect up our own private gate onto the Loddon footpath about 350 metres North of Ron’s hide, if WBC get there way they will open up the bailey bridge adjacent and if that is done then everyone will be able to access the country park and go bird watching there too.

The dream of our own visitor centre?

The road to being in this position will have many challenges and even then when we can look at purchasing, there are various other factors we will face, not least access from Lodge Road to the East, ensuring farm gates are always closed, etc.

But perhaps one thing we really need to set our hearts on is a visitor centre, cafe and toilet. With these facilities we could offer a viable alternative to all the traditional family venues that charge so much and do not offer value for money, nor encourage families into nature.

We have huge dreams, Ron Bryant proved to all us that all we need to do is tell people about them and those that want to share our dreams, or simply help fund them, will step forward and make themselves known.

Be part of Berkshire’s best wetland nature reserve and talk to us about any ideas you have to fund raise

Making Gifts while you are alive

You can of course give substantial money away while you are alive, any gift to a charity is tax free and up to £3,000 per year can be donated out side of any legacy gift arrangement….your accountant, or financial adviser can tell you all about it, or check out HMRC pages

Ways to donate;

  • Using the Paypal button below
  • Virgin Money Donate Site – Opens a new link to our own donation site
  • Cheque  to The Treasurer, Lavell’s Wetland Trust, c/o Dinton Pastures Countryside Service, Davis Street, Hurst, Reading, RG10 0TH
  • Bank transfer to: Lavell’s Wetland Trust, HSBC, 26 Broad Street, Reading, RG1 2BU:  sort code 40-38-04; account 95012716 (please add the reference “LWT conservation”)
  • Leave LWT a gift in your Will – see details below

Your donation will be worth 25% more to LWT if you can gift aid it. If you are a UK taxpayer and have not already made a declaration to LWT, please send us your Gift Aid Declaration.

Larger annual financial gifts while you are alive

You can of course give substantial money away while you are alive, any gift to a charity is tax free and up to £3,000 per year can be donated out side of any legacy gift arrangement….your accountant, or financial adviser can tell you all about it, or check out HMRC pages

How do I leave a legacy gift to L.W.T. in my Will?

Remembering LWT in your Will leaving a ‘Legacy Gift’ will securing the long term future of Lea Farm Lake (LFL)