The Duke of Westminster becomes Patron of Cheshire Wildlife Trust | Knutsford Times

The Duke of Westminster becomes Patron of Cheshire Wildlife Trust

By on January 25, 2011

The Duke of Westminster KG CB OBE TD CD DL has today been announced as the Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s new Patron.

The Duke takes over from Sir William Bromley-Davenport, who has been Patron of the wildlife charity for the last twenty years.

The announcement follows the recent appointment of former BBC journalist and north-west businesswoman Felicity Goodey CBE as the Trust’s new President.

On accepting the role, His Grace the Duke of Westminster said “Cheshire Wildlife Trust does great work with wildlife and people throughout the county, and I was very pleased to be invited to help as their new Patron. Their 45 nature reserves are a valuable asset but the Trust’s work with landowners and farmers across the wider countryside is probably even more important.”

In recent years the Cheshire Wildlife Trust have broadened their remit to include regularly advising landowners on how their land can be more effectively managed to create safe habitat ‘corridors’ between existing nature reserves. This allows wildlife the chance to move easily and safely through the landscape, and be resilient and adaptable to changes in climate amongst other threats.

Part of this strategy to create a ‘Living Landscape’ is the use of native-breed livestock to graze nature reserves and other land under the Trust’s management – an area that the Duke of Westminster was keen to learn more about during a visit to the Trust’s Bickley Hall Farm headquarters last year.

The Duke of Westminster added: “It was superb to see at first-hand during my visit the dedication of the team managing the 300-strong livestock herd across the Trust’s many grazing sites, but also meet the young people who get a chance to truly experience where food comes from and the rich abundance of wildlife that the county has to offer, whether below the surface of a pond or within a simple bird nest box.”

Professor David Norman, Chairman of the Trust, added “We know that the Duke has supported our work for some years now. Following his visit to our headquarters a few months ago where he met schoolchildren from Ellesmere Port and several members of staff, I was delighted when we visited him at Eaton Hall and His Grace agreed to step up his involvement with Cheshire Wildlife Trust. Our 50th anniversary in 2012 will be an exciting and busy time and we hugely appreciate the Duke’s backing at this ambitious time in the Trust’s history.”

Sir William Bromley-Davenport marked his recent retirement from the role by planting a Cheshire apple tree in the orchard at Bickley Hall Farm.

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