Yoesden nature reserve just got bigger!

  |  Published: Apr 8th 2016
View of new field from Yoesden Nature Reserve (photo by John Morris, courtesy BBOWT)
View of new field from Yoesden Nature Reserve (photo by John Morris, courtesy BBOWT)

Yoesden nature reserve in the Chiltern Hills near Radnage has grown by almost a third, thanks to a successful public appeal to buy three plots next to the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust’s land.

From 6 April, the Wildlife Trust is now managing a larger Yoesden nature reserve which will benefit butterflies, rare chalk grassland plants and woodland wildlife, thanks to the overwhelming generosity of our members and supporters who helped to buy three plots of land adjacent to the reserve.

Money raised through the public appeal combined with generous grants from Biffa Award and The Banister Charitable Trust, means that we have increased the size of the reserve, providing enormous long-term benefits for local wildlife.

Our fantastic team of volunteers and staff can now begin work to help encourage the specialist flora, and the wildlife it supports, helping to boost its biodiversity and encouraging the wild flowers and butterflies to extend their ranges across the area of restored grassland.


In the coming months BBOWT will:

  • Carry out butterfly surveys on the new land. Some of the butterflies we hope to record later this spring include uncommon species such as grizzled and dingy skipper.
  • Begin restoring the field by introducing wild flower seed collected by hand from the existing chalk bank. Our aim is that the field will eventually be covered in violets, fairy flax and bird’s-foot-trefoil, and the butterflies that feed on these plants.
  • This autumn our volunteer group will be clearing scrub and contractors will start re-fencing the southern chalk bank ready for cattle to graze there.
  • There will be a new map of the reserve on the interpretation boards.


The three plots of land that extend the original nature reserve are:

  • A chalk bank, which is so steep that it has never been cultivated, and for this reason it has huge potential for wildlife.
  • A small wooded area of 1.5 acres which includes beech and ash trees for which this part of the Chilterns is renowned.
  • A three acre field of pasture criss-crossed with public footpaths. The paddock was grazed so hard that only a few chalk grassland plants and flowers have survived. This is a perfect site for wild flower restoration.
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