THE former headquarters of the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust has returned to private ownership.

Lower House Farm, off Ledbury Road, a Jacobean timbered farmhouse which has been the trust's home since the mid-1990s, will again become and historic home after the trust grew to a size where all the volunteers and staff could not be accommodated.

The new trust headquarters at Queenswood Country Park and Arboretum, where they moved in July, offer more suitable office space, a larger room for meetings, a visitor centre and more space for public events and workshops.

"The house has been sold with the garden to the front, a small area of garden behind the house and yard to the side of the building and these areas will no longer be open to the public," said the trust's Frances Weeks.

"However, the orchard, Rickyard Pasture, Bank Meadow, Baynton Wood, and Wood Meadow will all remain within Herefordshire Wildlife Trust’s ownership and we will continue to manage these areas as part of the Upper Lugg Meadow nature reserve."

The income from the sale of the property can now be invested in the Trust’s conservation work and the management of their 55 nature reserves across the county - including improving access and interpretation on Lugg Meadow.

Anyone interested in the fascinating history of the building can find a slim volume: The History of Lower House Farm and its Surrounding Land by Dr Anthea Brian and Beryl Harding in the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust shop at Queenswood Country Park and Arboretum priced £4.50.