The reserve, situated in the village of Attenborough on the banks of the River Trent in Nottinghamshire, has been cared for almost 60 years by local charity Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust – which now has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase the site. Sir David has a long and fruitful association with the reserve stretching back to 1966 when, as Controller of BBC2, he returned to the village from which his family takes its name to open the reserve. Attenborough Nature Reserve now covers 200 hectares of wetland, woodland and grasslands habitat on the site of a former sand and gravel quarry.
Sand and gravel extraction, which started in the 1920s, ended in 2016 and the Wildlife Trust have agreed to buy the land from its owners. As a result, the charity has launched the £1 million Attenborough Nature Reserve Lifeline Appeal to ensure it can purchase the site and invest in its future management. Speaking in support of the appeal, Sir David, whose grandfather, father and mother were born nearby said:
Attenborough Nature Reserve is a symbol of hope in a challenging world. It is a natural oasis on the edge of a big city, full of remarkable and beautiful birds and other wildlife. Please give as generously as you can to help us make sure this place is forever safe in the hands of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.
Anyone wishing to donate the Attenborough Nature Reserve Lifeline Appeal can do so online at or in person at Attenborough Nature Centre.