Chilterns ‘jew­els’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - GREEN SPACES -

AU­TUMN is one of the best times of the year to ap­pre­ci­ate the glo­ri­ous ‘jew­els’ of the Chilterns, the wood­lands and val­leys that make our coun­try­side so spe­cial.

The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) al­ready looks after sev­eral of th­ese pre­cious sites in­clud­ing Chin­nor Hill, Oak­ley Hill and Wind­sor Hill.

Last week, BBOWT launched an ap­peal to raise £150,000 to buy and save Yoes­den, a wood­land and chalk grass­land site near Rad­nage.

The beau­ti­ful swathe of grass­land is renowned for its va­ri­ety of wild flow­ers, but­ter­flies and moths.

Above this the ‘hanger’ wood­land of beech, yew and white­beam trees clothes the steep hill­side that over­looks Rad­nage Val­ley.

Estelle Bai­ley, chief ex­ec­u­tive of BBOWT, is lead­ing the ap­peal.

She said: “Yoes­den is won­der­ful jewel in the Chilterns. When I vis­ited the site in the sum­mer I was de­lighted to see so many va­ri­eties of but­ter­flies, in­clud­ing the fab­u­lous Ado­nis blue, flut­ter­ing up from the pink and pur­ple flow­ers of wild thyme and mar­jo­ram.

“The sounds of crick­ets and grasshop­pers and the scent of wild herbs were amaz­ing, and the views from the top of the bank look­ing across Rad­nage Val­ley are stun­ning. BBOWT has the op­por­tu­nity now to pro­tect this pre­cious site for ev­ery­one to en­joy, and to look after it so that more wildlife can thrive here.”

There will be guided walks, work­shops and events, work par­ties to help con­trol the scrub and de­tailed sur­vey­ing of the grass­land to en­sure it is kept in the best con­di­tion for flow­ers and herbs that pro­vide es­sen­tial food and shel­ter for but­ter­flies and other in­sects.

The dis­tinc­tive character of chalk grass­land in the Chilterns is of na­tional im­por­tance. 80 per cent of the UK’s chalk grass­land has been de­stroyed since the 1950s, which means the grass­land bank at Yoes­den is a valu­able site to trea­sure.

There are sev­eral pub­lic foot­paths in­clud­ing the Chilterns Way, per­mis­sive paths and a bri­dle­way through Yoes­den, which make at­trac­tive cir­cu­lar walks be­tween Rad­nage and Bled­low Ridge.

Go to www.bbowt.org.uk/yoes­den to see pho­tos and videos of this beau­ti­ful site, and click on the Ado­nis blue but­ter­fly to give to the Yoes­den Bank Ap­peal.

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