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Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - GREEN SPACES - Townsend is a vol­un­teer war­den at As­ton Clin­ton Rag­pits for the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust

Phil LACE up your boots and help cre­ate the per­fect site for wildlife.

Not only that but you’ll be help­ing to look after one of the most beau­ti­ful na­ture re­serves in the UK, make new friends, have fun and get fit – what’s not to like!

The Berks Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust re­serve at As­ton Clin­ton Rag­pits, just off the B4009 at As­ton Clin­ton, is an en­chanted lit­tle cor­ner of our coun­try­side that re­veals a se­ries of sea­sonal wildlife spec­ta­cles through­out the year.

From snow­drops, cowslips and prim­roses in spring, through to sum­mer but­ter­flies, slow worms and red kites, this is a haven for some of our most fas­ci­nat­ing and scin­til­lat­ing plants and an­i­mals.

Most renowned are the thou­sands of or­chids which flower en masse ev­ery June and cre­ate a mag­nif­i­cent colour­ful spec­ta­cle of pink, pur­ple, cream and white. Chalk fra­grant or­chids are the most abun­dant; last year we recorded more than 5,800 plants.

Amongst them you’ll also spot the creamy yel­low of greater but­ter­fly-or­chids and deep pur­ple of pyra­mi­dal or­chids.

To main­tain this sanc­tu­ary for na­ture, we rely on the en­thu­si­asm of vol­un­teers who help to look after the site.

On Satur­day Jan­uary 31 and Satur­day Fe­bru­ary 28 be­tween 10am and 3pm we’re hold­ing spe­cial ‘taster’ days for peo­ple to come along any time and have a go. Try your hand at hedge­lay­ing, cut­ting back scrub and rak­ing up piles of veg­e­ta­tion.

The work is easy for any­one to join in and you will be cre­at­ing beau­ti­ful hedgerow habi­tats for an­i­mals and nest­ing birds.

Tools and train­ing are sup­plied; all you need are suit­able out­door cloth­ing, stout footwear and a packed lunch.

Please come along and join our merry band of vol­un­teers, learn new skills and en­joy this amaz­ing and unique na­ture re­serve.

Email Phil Townsend on philj­townsend@ ya­hoo.co.uk or just turn up on Jan­uary 31or Fe­bru­ary 28. As­ton Clin­ton Rag­pits, HP22 5NF or grid ref: SP 883 100.

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