Independent, local environmental charity The Greensand Trust is this year celebrating 20 years of action to protect, conserve and enhance the distinctive landscape, wildlife and history of the Greensand Ridge and wider area - improving access, understanding and enjoyment of the area for the benefit of everyone.

The charity was formed in 1999 as it was recognised just how important the landscape, wildlife and history of this unique area is, and that message remains just as relevant today.  The Greensand Ridge offers a mosaic of important habitats and is one of the few places in Central England where thin, sandy soils support lowland heathland and acid grassland - distinctive landscapes which support specific wildlife and vegetation and need to be protected to thrive. 

The Greensand Trust exists to:

  • protect and enhance the Greensand Ridge and surrounding areas
  • create opportunities for people to engage with and enjoy the area, improving their quality of life
  • raise awareness of the Greensand Ridge, which runs from Leighton Buzzard in the West to Gamlingay in the East, its value and the challenges it faces

Over the past 20 years the Trust is proud to have achieved so much, working together with partners and communities across this precious landscape, most notably:

  • the conservation management of a range of sites including parks, national and local nature reserves and local community green spaces, with the help of Greensand Volunteers who contribute well over 10,000 hours per annum
  • the creation of Rushmere Country Park near Leighton Buzzard and Sandy Smith Nature Reserve near Clophill
  • the development of a Working Woodlands Centre at Maulden Wood with the aim to protect, enhance and promote the woodlands of the Greensand Ridge for their biodiversity, heritage and recreational value, their role in the landscape, as providers of ecosystem services, and as part of the rural economy
  • co-lead on the development of a Greensand Country Landscape Partnership, a Heritage Lottery funded initiative helping to raise awareness of the heritage value of this landscape 

The Greensand Trust has been a key player on several partnerships, helping ensure the importance of our local environment is recognised and enabling more to be achieved thorough working in partnership.

The Trust helped to pioneer community-led environmental planning and continues this work with local people through the Neighbourhood Planning process.  In these times of huge pressure from growth and development, it is more important than ever for local communities to identify what is important to them and how communities can be grown sustainably.

Greensand Trust Chief Executive Gill Welham commented: “We’d like to thank our supporters, funders and partners, who have helped The Greensand Trust raise and invest over £17 million in the local environment over the past 20 years.

“The Greensand Trust receives no core funding, so everything we achieve together, is thanks to your support!”

For more information on our activities, the many services we offer, or ways to support us in caring for your local environment see www.greensandtrust.org