With the Chilterns Tourism Network
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.
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