Northumberland Wildlife Trust has launched a funding appeal in its final push to secure the 600-acre Benshaw Moor in Redesdale as a new nature reserve.

The trust already has already raised £568,000 in its bid to buy the Northumberland site.

But it only has until April 29 to find a further £135,000 to complete the purchase and make Benshaw Moor its 63rd nature reserve.

The site, near Elsdon, includes nationally important features such as blanket bog, heather heathland, grassland and limestone springs – a complex and varied mosaic of habitats that supports mammals, birds, reptiles and insects.

Duncan Hutt, Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s head of living landscapes and conservation said: “This is an amazing piece of land which has become available for purchase and would make a wonderful nature reserve.

“It will probably be our most exciting and important acquisition in the last 15 years, but donations are essential as we are in a race against time to secure this corner of Northumberland for wildlife and posterity.

“The site is all about big skies and magnificent vistas, a feeling you are in the presence of powerful forces and wildness.

“There are burns, spring and even a limestone-stepped waterfall.”

Part of the funding so far has come from charitable trusts, businesses and donations, including a significant private gift and a bequest by the late George Swan, emeritus professor of organic chemistry at Newcastle University.

Professor Swan wrote The Flora and Northumberland, a comprehensive record of plant species in the county.

The bequest was specified for use in buying a site of botanical importance.