Legacy stories: Lackford Lakes

Lackford Lakes Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Lackford Lakes by Mark Gosbee

From iridescent kingfisher, to swirling clouds of starlings the landscape of lakes, reedbed, meadow and woodland at Lackford Lakes is a wildlife oasis, offering close-up birding all year round.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Bill Payn

The lakes at Lackford were created through sand and gravel extraction in the valley of the River Lark and the nature reserve was established in 2000 when the gravel works closed. The lakes and surrounding habitat support an abundant community of breeding and overwintering birds, and dragonflies.

In 2005, we had the chance to buy the adjoining arable fields to extend the overall area of habitat and increase the range of opportunities for wildlife by creating wet grassland, Breckland heath, dry acid grassland and valuable new areas of scrub.

Bill Payn was one of the Trust’s Founders and the author of Birds of Suffolk.  He remembered the Trust in his Will and as a life long bird lover, requested his gift should be used for a nature reserve with ornithological importance.  His legacy enabled us to commit to the purchase of the land and then to secure significant donations from grant funders, including Biffa Award to complete the purchase and create new habitat.

The arrival of stone curlew was beyond all expectations and would certainly have thrilled Bill!

If you would like more information about how we use legacy gifts to help wildlife, please contact Christine Luxton on 01473 890089.