Moving Ahead at Bacombe Hill Nature Reserve

Steve Keene  |  Published: Sep 1st 2016
Bacombe Hill, image courtesy BBOWT/Robert Lewis
Bacombe Hill, image courtesy BBOWT/Robert Lewis

After a break our monthly work party is now running again on Bacombe Hill. In June we cleared ragwort and invasive buddleia from the chalk area at  the eastern end of the reserve. We seemed to be of great interest to the small herd of Hereford cattle that are currently grazing the site, probably because we had sacks with us and started work near a site our grazier uses to feed them!

Once they realised that we had no food for them they soon got bored and carried on with their own business of grazing and helping us keep the rapidly growing grass and scrub in check. We also did some scrub clearance of our own at the start of the hollow way. 

As a lot of the volunteer team had not been on site for some time it seemed like a perfect opportunity to do a quick walk around to see what flowers and butterflies we could find. We were lucky enough to find five types of orchid, the most abundant being the common spotted and pyramidal orchids which were most common around the hollow way running up from the Wendover entrance. We also found a few twayblades and two bee orchids in the same area. 

The final orchid we found was a white helleborine which was next to a beech tree in the middle of the reserve. We also saw lots of butterflies including brimstones, meadow browns, a painted lady, a green hairstreak and to top it all off quite a few holly blues as well.

As part of our management of this fabulous chalk grassland reserve we have set up a monthly volunteer work party to help control the scrub and weeds. If you would like to join us on the second Thursday of the month. please contact Steve Keene our volunteer warden, email, 07544 576854.

For more information about this reserve and Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust please see our website

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