A VISION to turn a meadow near Hereford into a new nature reserve is getting closer, a wildlife trust has said.

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust revealed its plans to buy the 14-acre site near Woolhope last year, and it wanted to make the most of the area's "wildlife-rich landscape".

And now the trust has said it has raised £105,572.26 of the £200,000 needed to buy the "beautiful" Ail Meadow, which lies within the Woolhope Dome.

The trust said that although the site is already rich in many species of wildflowers, it wants to restore the site as a traditional hay meadow which will allow wildflowers to flourish along with bees and butterflies.

If it buys the site, the trust said it would ensure it was protected for wildlife in the future.

A spokesperson said on Wednesday: "A lowland pasture covering just over 14 acres, Ail Meadow lies within the wonderful, wildlife-rich landscape of the Woolhope Dome, very close to our own Wessington Pasture Nature Reserve.

"Though already rich in many species of wildflower, it has the potential to be so much better though changing how the site is managed.

"With your help, we plan to purchase the site and restore it as a hay meadow, with seasonal grazing, to enhance the sward and attract a wealth of wildlife.

"Allowing the meadow to be sold on the open market risks it being lost to unsympathetic management, improvement or intensification.

"Purchasing the site will ensure it remains protected for wildlife for the future."

Andrew Nixon, senior conservation manager at Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, previously said: “This is such an exciting opportunity to create a new nature reserve to benefit our county’s wonderful wildlife and which can equally be enjoyed by wildlife-lovers.

"You can see many beautiful wildflowers here that are associated with traditional meadows – yellow rattle, lady’s bedstraw and cowslips – but Ail Meadow is quite special as it has damp grassland areas within it which are home to much rarer species such as the wonderfully named sneezewort, bog pimpernel and flixweed.

"The Woolhope Dome is a special area for wildlife in Herefordshire with its patchwork of woodlands, meadows and orchards and we need to do everything we can to ensure we protect its treasures.

"Restoring Ail Meadow as a nature reserve would be another step in the right direction.”