Join Downs con­ser­va­tion ef­fort

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Countryfile -

The green fin­gered are be­ing in­vited to lend a hand with vi­tal con­ser­va­tion work on a na­ture re­serve. Wye Com­mu­nity Farm are launch­ing a monthly vol­un­teer­ing ses­sion, giv­ing peo­ple the op­por­tu­nity to carry out con­ser­va­tion work on the Wye National Na­ture Re­serve (NNR). Wye NNR is home to rare species such as the Duke of Bur­gundy but­ter­fly and black­veined moth, whose sur­vival is now de­pen­dent on care­ful man­age­ment of the re­serve’s chalk grass­land. Much of the work is car­ried out through graz­ing by Wye Com­mu­nity Farm (WCF) live­stock. The WCF ini­tia­tive was launched in 2007, in re­sponse to the loss of agri­cul­tural teach­ing at Wye Col­lege. To­day WCF farms about 120 acres, mainly on the Wye NNR but also on be­half of sev­eral lo­cal landown­ers with small ar­eas not suited to large scale agri­cul­ture. But a help­ing hand is needed on the NNR land with tasks such as scrub clear­ance and fence re­pairs. Spokesman Jae Mather said: “Get­ting in­volved in this pro­ject is a fan­tas­tic way to en­joy the spec­tac­u­lar scenery of the Wye Downs while car­ry­ing out im­por­tant work to pro­tect some of our rarest wildlife.” Any­one in­ter­ested in tak­ing part in new monthly ses­sions can con­tact WCF on 01233 813298 or through www. wyecom­mu­ni­ty­farm.org.uk

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