The great out­doors is on your doorstep

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COMMUNITY -

WHETHER or not you are head­ing fur­ther afield dur­ing the sum­mer, the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust has many na­ture re­serves to ex­plore right here in Buck­ing­hamshire.

Why not make the most of longer days what­ever the weather to get out and visit some new parts of our county.

High in the Chilterns, the chalk grass­land at Chin­nor Hill na­ture re­serve of­fers far-reach­ing views over the Vale of Ayles­bury. Stop for a mo­ment to en­joy watch­ing soar­ing buz­zards and red kites, rid­ing the ther­mals on a sunny day.

The grass­land is filled with wild flow­ers in­clud­ing lady’s bed­straw, eye­bright and salad burnet. Au­tumn gen­tians should be start­ing to flower, too.

Two of the Wildlife Trust’s new­est na­ture re­serves in Buck­ing­hamshire are par­tic­u­larly worth a visit dur­ing the sum­mer. Last year, BBOWT took on the long-term man­age­ment of Ba­combe Hill, near Wen­dover, and Grange­lands and The Ri­fle Range, near Princes Ris­bor­ough, for Buck­ing­hamshire County Coun­cil.

Ba­combe Hill is an an­cient chalk grass­land site. Sir Charles Roth­schild, who went on to found The Wildlife Trusts, iden­ti­fied it as a site to be pro­tected more than 100 years ago and it be­came one of the orig­i­nal Roth­schild­hild Re­serves.

These days the re­serve ve is still noted for its wildld flow­ers and but­ter­flies, es, not to men­tion the he su­perb views overer Wen­dover and d Ayles­bury Vale. Car­petss of wild thyme fill thee sum­mer air with a won­der­ful aro­matic c fra­grance and the gen­tians flower in late sum­mer.

The Ridge­way Na­tional Trail passes through Grange­lands. Pause on a walk and sit awhile on the slopes to en­joy the won­der­ful views. Watch as com­mon blue, mar­bled white and chalkhill blue but­ter­flies­fli flit from flower to flower. The chalkhill blue is lim­ited to ar­eas of chalk grass­land as it lays its eggs only on horse­shoe vetch, which only grows there.

Com­mon rock-rose is a low-grow­ing, creep­ing plant with bright yel­low clus­ters of flow­ers, which pro­vide plenty of nec­tar for var­i­ous bees and is also the food plant of sev­eral species of but­ter­fly such as the brown ar­gus and green hairstreak. Look out for other colour­ful wild flow­ers, in­clud­ing gen­tians and hare­bells.

BBOWT also took on the man­age­ment of Pavis Woods last year, ad­join­ing Dancersend na­ture re­serve. The Ridge­way Na­tional Trail runs through these woods too. Take a de­tour off the trail down into Dancersend to ex­plore the chalk grass­land and wood­land.

Pack up a pic­nic and ex­plore a new re­serve this sum­mer, or re­turn to an old favourite and see its sum­mer glo­ries.

PIC­TURE: COLIN WIL­LIAMS Del­i­cate wildlife: Chalkhill blue but­ter­fly

A seat with a view: En­joy the far­reach­ing views from Chin­nor Hill PIC­TURE: SUE CROXFORD

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.