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Last Updated: Friday, 8 December 2006, 11:54 GMT
Ratty's Willow home nearly secure
Water vole
Water voles are one of the UK's most endangered species
A wildlife trust has raised enough money to save an area of land thought to have inspired Kenneth Grahame's book The Wind in the Willows.

The site, which runs by the River Pang, where Grahame is said to have spotted the original "Ratty", is close to Moor Copse Nature Reserve, near Reading.

In October, the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust launched an appeal to help raise 235,000 to buy the land.

The trust said final negotiations were taking place to secure the purchase.

A trust spokesperson told BBC News: "We've been overwhelmed by the generosity of the appeal.

"We believe we've reached our target and we're in the legal process of buying the land."

The trust said if the sale went head it would amalgamate the land with the Moor Copse Nature Reserve, doubling the size of the current wetland.

Water voles, which are still found in the east of the site, would be one of the threatened wildlife species to benefit.

Ratty's willow home under threat
08 Nov 06 |  Berkshire
Ratty makes comeback along river
24 Aug 06 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
'Ratty' gets own protected area
16 Aug 06 |  England


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