Realising Thomas's Vision
We are delighted that after many months of searching and a number of ‘near-misses’ when we thought we had found somewhere only for things to fall through unexpectedly, we have been able to secure what has turned out to be the best possible place to remember Thomas. It is not a woodland but it is a meadow, which was also very much in his mind when he talked to us about his idea of a space that would be looked after in a sustainable way and would be accessible to the public.
A benefactor had very recently enabled the purchase of the meadow by Earth Trust, a local environmental charity. We were able to donate to Earth Trust, the cost of the purchase with the funds raised from the donations to Thomas’s Woodland Fund and with Thomas’s own savings. Over the coming weeks, months and years, Earth Trust will regenerate the land currently in a poor condition from both a botanical and agricultural perspective to an accessible riverside haven for wildlife. It will be known as Thomas’s Meadow and we aim to raise funds annually to help towards its upkeep. It runs alongside the Thames, opposite Burcot, the village where Thomas grew up, and was a place he knew very well.
The land adjoins two other meadows upstream, also in the ownership of Earth Trust and will be managed in tandem with them. Initially, it will be managed as a traditional riverside meadow while work is done to explore the possibility of creating a wetland area with pools and scrapes to encourage a variety of wildlife. With the Thames Path running along the bank, it fulfils an important part of Thomas’s vision for public access. Find out more in the Earth Trust newsletter below, and do visit the meadow to see it taking shape.