The Festival of Flight  2017 

The Festival of Flight  2017 

From the Swindon Evening Advertiser;

 

On the 19th August 2017 the former RAF airfield played host to the Festival of Flight - an event organised by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.

Its aim was to showcase the past and present - giving visitors an insight into the animals that call it home today and the aircrews who did the same in years gone by.

 

Amy Blount, project activities co-ordinator at Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, said: “It’s a combination of wildlife and history.

“We’re stood on an old World War Two airfield - this is a celebration of that history but also its current value as a nature reserve.

“It’s a working farm, with mostly cattle, but we have a visitor’s centre here and there is a project called Building Bridges that is based out of it.

 

“We use it for school groups and engagement days but overall, it’s under-utilised.

 

“This event is to show people what is here. It’s free for them to visit, any day - they can come and do bird watching, a lovely walk, a picnic.”

The site is just one of many across the county that come under the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust umbrella.

 

A relatively little-known organisation, their main priority is to protect wildlife and conserve their habitats, but they also work closely with people - encouraging them to appreciate nature and their surroundings.

 

For example, the project Amy works on focuses on project with people who, for a variety of reasons, wouldn’t normally be able to access the countryside.

Across the field from the wildlife exhibits, the focus was on the airfield’s military past.

A re-enactment group from the West Midlands took over the visitor centre for their dynamic demonstration of the way aircraft were scrambled to defend the skies during the Battle of Britain.

Nearby, Vince Povey, a local researcher who has spent many years looking into the history of the site, offered presentations on its story.

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From the Author

What the local press failed to report, was that we were honoured by the presence of veterans including Laurie Weeden, Nick Nicholls and Gordon Miles.   As you can see by the photos, the WAR TO WILDLIFE tent was very popular!