Wildlife Trust appeal to extend beautiful nature reserve in the Chiltern Hills

  |  Published: Nov 12th 2015
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The Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust this week launched a new appeal to extend Yoesden nature reserve near Bledlow Ridge to give rare plants and butterflies more habitats.

Christopher Williams, head of conservation & education for Buckinghamshire, is leading the appeal to raise £105,000 to buy three plots of land that adjoin the nature reserve.

“If we’re successful we will increase the size of the reserve by about a third, helping to boost its biodiversity and encouraging the wild flowers and butterflies to extend their ranges across the area of restored grassland.”

It’s a year since the Wildlife Trust bought Yoesden nature reserve, which is located in the Radnage valley. The south-west facing chalk bank is rated by Butterfly Conservation as one of the top sites in Berks, Bucks and Oxon for butterflies; and this summer volunteer surveyors recorded a very impressive 28 species of butterfly including healthy populations of small, chalkhill and Adonis blues.

The land that the Trust hopes to buy includes a chalk bank which is so steep that it’s never been cultivated; for this reason it has huge potential for wildlife. Below the chalk bank is a small wooded area of 1.5 acres that forms a natural extension to the woodland that the Trust already owns. It includes beech and ash trees for which this part of the Chilterns is renowned, and is dotted with holly and yew trees providing food and shelter for birds, hibernating butterflies and other insects.

The third area that the Trust hopes to buy is probably the most interesting because there are so few wild flowers there now. A three acre triangle of pasture criss-crossed with public footpaths has been grazed so hard that only a few chalk grassland plants and flowers have survived.

“This would be a perfect site for wild flower restoration through carefully harvesting grass and flower seeds from the land we already own and then broadcasting them into the prepared land,” said Christopher Williams.

The public appeal to purchase the three plots of land at Yoesden is at www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/yoesden



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