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Walking through Brown’s Piece and Hack Hill on a sunlit autumnal morning it is so clear why we need to keep this area as an important community asset now that it’s up for sale. I saw children walking to school, shop keepers taking the scenic route to work and a bullfinch hopping about in a Guelder rose bush eating berries to mention just a few of the joys. It won’t only provide us with a place to enjoy close to the town centre, it will also provide wildlife with a wild area which is increasingly important as our native species try to adapt to climate change.

But there’s a lot of hard graft that goes in to creating a legitimate and legal organisation that can buy and manage land on behalf of a community, and the Wotton Community Land Trust (WCLT) have been beavering away to create first an ‘Unincorporated company’ and now that that is up and running an ‘Incorporated company’; WCLT Ltd.  An Incorporated company has several important advantages. It is the actual body that will have the correct legal status to allow the community to purchase the land. It also allows us to apply for independent charitable status which in turn helps us to apply for grant funding. We are confident that this funding together with the very generous donations we have been pledged by the local community amounting to more than £50,000 (this is without gift aid which we will be able to claim when charitable status is confirmed), will enable us to reach the £150,000 that has been agreed with the vendors. In addition, any members of the community who are interested in the project can become members of the Incorporated company and for £1/year will receive a share certificate that will give them voting rights.

Whilst we grapple with the complexities of the Financial Conducts (FCA) and the banking system we really appreciate the support we are getting from those who want to see Brown’s Piece and Hack Hill become a better place for people and wildlife. If you want to get involved and perhaps pledge a donation or become a member of the Incorporated Company or if you just want to know more about the land please do take a look at our video and the website here:  https://www.wclt.org.uk/ 

Let’s work together to ‘Save Browns Piece and Hack Hill’