Trust to care for nature reserves in partnership with county council

Berks Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust in partnership with Bucks County Council over care of nature reserves - from left, Estelle Bailey,  Warren Whyte, Christopher Williams.

Berks Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust in partnership with Bucks County Council over care of nature reserves - from left, Estelle Bailey, Warren Whyte, Christopher Williams.

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The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust finalised a new partnership with Buckinghamshire County Council to look after four of the county’s nature reserves at Pavis Woods, Bacombe Hill, Grangelands and the Rifle Range, and Hog and Hollowhill Woods.

County Councillor Warren Whyte, centre, met with the Wildlife Trust’s chief executive Estelle Bailey, left, and head of conservation for Buckinghamshire, Christopher Williams at Grangelands nature reserve to mark the handover of the reserves on Wednesday, December 2.

Estelle said: “This is a great day for wildlife in Buckinghamshire and everyone who enjoys visiting these very special places.

“The chalk grassland sites at Bacombe and here at Grangelands complement the nature reserves that we manage elsewhere in the Chilterns. Pavis Woods, which include Black and Northill woods, are just across the lane from our Dancersend reserve near Wendover, and give exciting new walking routes in beautiful ancient woodland.”

Cllr Whyte, Cabinet member for planning and environment, said: “We’re fortunate to have many beauty spots across our county, and I’m very pleased this partnership allows the care of these four areas of natural beauty to be placed in the trust’s capable hands.”

Bacombe Hill, south of Wendover, was originally identified as a nature reserve by Sir Charles Rothschild more than 100 years ago, when he created the first register of these sites. The Rothschild Reserves became the foundation for the organisation that today is the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts.

Hog and Hollowhill Woods, near Marlow, form part of the Chiltern Beechwoods Special Area of Conservation, one of the most important European wildlife protection designations.

Mr Williams added: “Many people will remember that the Wildlife Trust used to manage the superb Grangelands and the Rifle Range at Kimble from the 1960s to 1990s, when it was renowned as a field studies site.

“Countless student ecologists learnt to identify chalk grassland flowers, plants and butterflies here. It is such a wildlife-rich site, especially for orchids and butterflies, that it will become a firm favourite among our members.”