With the Chilterns Tourism Net­work

MARY TEBJE

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - WHAT'S ON THIS WEEKEND - @Vis­itChilterns, pin­ter­est.com/vis­itchilterns in­sta­gram.com/thechilterns #Chilterns

A WILDLIFE trust has just a few weeks to raise £150,000 to save a valu­able wildlife site.

As you walk through the church­yard of me­dieval St Mary’s Rad­nage, Yoes­den Bank rises steeply to­wards the clas­sic ‘beech hanger’ wood­land.

The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) has launched an ap­peal to save this pre­cious Chilterns wildlife site, in the Rad­nage Val­ley near High Wy­combe. It is renowned for its va­ri­ety of wild flow­ers, but­ter­flies and moths on a chalk grass­land bank and for the an­cient wood­land above.

There is a real op­por­tu­nity to save Yoes­den. The cur­rent own­ers would very much like BBOWT to buy and man­age the site and en­sure its fu­ture pro­tec­tion.

In me­dieval times, drovers herded their sheep across Eng­land’s chalk down­lands. Sheep grazing, com­bined with nu­tri­ent-poor chalky soil, in­hib­ited hardy and fast-grow­ing rank grasses.

This al­lowed a wide va­ri­ety of less common plants to flour­ish, and cre­ated Yoes­den’s un­usu­ally rich and di­verse habi­tat. This pris­tine frag­ment of land has re­mained un­dam­aged by plough­ing, fer­tilis­ers or in­ten­sive grazing to this day.

The wood above Yoes­den con­tains im­pres­sive beech, white­beam and yews, as well as oak, wych elm and ash.

The ground flora is ex­tremely di­verse and fea­tures 16 an­cient wood­land in­di­ca­tors, in­clud­ing wood anemones, prim­roses, ram­sons (wild garlic), and dog-vi­o­lets. Other scarce plants, such as white helle­borine and bird’s-nest orchid, are also found here.

Go to www.bbowt.org.uk/yoes­den to see pho­tos of this beau­ti­ful site, watch videos of BBOWT ecol­o­gist Deb­bie Lewis talk about its spe­cial wildlife and what the Wildlife Trust will do to main­tain the chalk grass­land and wood­land if it suc­ceeds in its bid to buy the land.

Click on the Ado­nis blue but­ter­fly to do­nate at www.just­giv­ing.com/yoes­den.

Please share your top picks for lo­cal places to see and ex­pe­ri­ences to en­joy all year round.

You will find us on Twit­ter Pin­ter­est and In­sta­gram and if you use the hash­tag, we’ll share the best of your con­tri­bu­tions.

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