A campaign to raise £200,000 to extend Lackford Lakes has hit the halfway point.
Suffolk Wildlife Trust wants to buy 77 acres of land neighbouring the popular nature reserve, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
It will safeguard an area where rare species such as stone curlew have been breeding.
Will Cranstoun, West Suffolk sites manager for Suffolk Wildlife Trust, said they were ‘overwhelmed’ by support for the campaign, which has raised £100,000 just two weeks after launching.
“Since Lackford Lakes was founded 30 years ago it has become a real wildlife haven, offering a myriad of habitats for different species and renowned nationally for its kingfishers, dragonflies and winter wildfowl,” he said.
“But also it has become a place where people can really get a close-up experience of nature.
“This appeal shows how people have taken Lackford to heart and how strongly they feel about protecting the open Breckland landscapes of Suffolk.”
Lackford Lakes was effectively founded in 1987 when Bernard Tickner purchased the ‘worked out’ section of a quarry and gifted it to the trust.
To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the reserve will host an array of family friendly activities next weekend (September 23 and 24).
As well as the chance to walk the land the trust hopes to buy, visitors can enjoy fete-style games, guided pond-dipping, bug hunts and crafts.
To donate to the appeal or for more information about the birthday weekend, visit www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org