Menston Area Nature Trust (MANT), a small nature charity that has recently successfully bid alongside other local groups to buy Weston Woods near Otley for the community, is launching another campaign to raise money to buy land in Menston.

Two fields next to Otley Road in Menston are on the market, and the charity is hoping to buy them with a view to providing allotments and wild green space for the village. Currently there are no allotments in Menston, and these fields are very accessible.

Geoff Lomas of Menston in Bloom said: “The call for allotments in Menston has been long and loud. These fields give an ideal opportunity for the development of community allotments, for growing food and flowers. They are close to the village of Menston, ideally flat and sunny.”

The fields also provide important habitats for wildlife and could be further improved for nature. Charlotte Simons from the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust said: “These fields show signs that we might be able to get a really nice hay meadow back here. Hay meadows now make up only 1% of the land in the UK, a rare and diminishing resource.”

She added: “The fields also link into other habitats that are around them. Losing a site like this means we could break that link and isolate the wildlife living around Menston. Once a population gets isolated - that's when we start to lose it."

There is a catch, however. Although the fields are currently in greenbelt, Avant have an option over the land to build 109 houses, if they can get planning permission before November 2024. In that case, any owner would be forced to sell to them. MANT has guaranteed that, should they have to sell to Avant, any money from the sale would be ringfenced to buy other land in the area.

Francesca Bridgewater, chair of MANT said “It isn’t ideal. We could buy the fields and still lose them. However, helping MANT buy this land is the best chance we have of saving this important green space for the village. The danger is that any other purchaser would be able to extend the option to build until planning permission is granted. Please support us!”

Bids need to be in by 26th May 2023. If you would like to contribute to the fundraiser and help secure this land for the community, please visit the crowdfunding page: or

For more information, go to Email to volunteer to help.