Help us en­sure a long-term fu­ture for our wildlife

Keith Fen­som, chair­man of the Chilterns Group at the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust, needs new vol­un­teers

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COMMUNITY -

THE Chilterns Group of vol­un­teers ac­tively sup­ports the lo­cal Wildlife Trust in many dif­fer­ent ways.

We are around 130 peo­ple, all of us in­ter­ested in wildlife and the coun­try­side in south Buck­ing­hamshire and the Chilterns.

Our fo­cus and ob­jec­tive is to help and sup­port the Wildlife Trust’s na­ture re­serve war­dens, to raise aware­ness of the im­por­tance of pro­tect­ing the won­der­ful green spa­ces of the Chilterns and to en­sure a long term fu­ture for wildlife here.

Some of us are more ac­tive than oth­ers!

We’re al­ways look­ing for more vol­un­teers to join our ex­ist­ing team work­ing at Ba­combe Hill just out­side Wen­dover, and in Pavis Woods at Dancersend.

The team is car­ry­ing out prac­ti­cal con­ser­va­tion work in these two na­ture re­serves that the Wildlife Trust started manag­ing last win­ter on be­half of Buck­ing­hamshire County Coun­cil.

Both re­serves of­fer vol­un­teers won­der­ful op­por­tu­ni­ties to en­joy healthy phys­i­cal ex­er­cise and fresh air, with mag­nif­i­cent views and ex­traor­di­nary wildlife.

The Ridge­way Na­tional Trail runs through both na­ture re­serves, at­tract­ing hun­dreds of visi­tors every week. It is so re­ward­ing to know that the work we’re do­ing, whether it’s scrub-bash­ing or keep­ing a watch­ful eye on live­stock, is help­ing to make these spe­cial places more en­joy­able for ev­ery­one to visit, whether they’re on a long-dis­tance hike or just out for a cou­ple of hours.

Twice a year we hold a Plant and Pro­duce Mar­ket; the next one is on Satur­day May 21 from 10am to 1pm at Great Mis­senden Memo­rial Cen­tre.

There will be an amaz­ing se­lec­tion of in­door and out­door plants, mostly do­nated plus books, crafts, bric-a-brac and a cafe with tasty home­made pro­duce.

Every win­ter we or­gan­ise a series of monthly talks in Great Mis­senden Memo­rial Cen­tre.

These are pop­u­lar events with fas­ci­nat­ing top­ics on wildlife from the Chilterns and wider Thames Val­ley area and around the world.

Any prof­its raised from these events are ploughed back into sup­port­ing the Wildlife Trust.

Re­cently we bought and planted spe­cial­ist fruit trees to recre­ate an old or­chard at Dancersend, which used to be owned by the Roth­schild fam­ily.

The group also con­trib­uted to the suc­cess­ful ap­peal to pur­chase Yoes­den, the Trust’s na­ture re­serve that nes­tles in the Rad­nage val­ley near Bled­low Ridge.

This is a wild­flower haven that’s noted for its va­ri­ety of but­ter­flies.

If you’ve ever wanted to find out more about your lo­cal wildlife, then do take a look at the walks, ad­ver­tised on the Wildlife Trust’s web­site www.bbowt.org.uk/what­son.

Mem­bers of the Chilterns Group who are ex­perts in fungi, but­ter­flies, wild flowers, birds and in­sects lead guided walks on sev­eral na­ture re­serves in the Chilterns.

We’re cam­paign­ers too: writ­ing let­ters and ac­tively sup­port­ing the fight for HS2 to be routed through a bored tun­nel un­der the Chilterns at Wen­dover.

If this doesn’t hap­pen, there is a se­ri­ous risk to the wa­ter sup­ply of We­ston Turville Reser­voir, a na­ture re­serve where in win­ter you may see rare wet­land and wading birds such as the bit­tern.

To find out more about what the Chilterns Group does, go to http://www.bbowt.org.uk/how-you­can-help/vol­un­teer; we’re un­der the link to Regional Groups.

PHOTO: MICK JONES

Help flora and fauna to flour­ish: Vi­o­lets at Dancersend

Join us: The vol­un­teers from the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust man a stall at Ayles­bury Mar­ket

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