Join friends’ group for Barnack’s Hills and Holes National Nature Reserve

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News

Barnack’s Hills and Holes National Nature Reserve is to have its own friends’ group.

Natural England, the public body responsible for the protection and improvement of the natural environment, is inviting anyone interested in helping with the reserve to attend an inaugural meeting in the Wilfrid Wood Hall in Barnack on Saturday, November 23, at 2pm.

The internationally-renowned wildlife site, also known as the Hills and Hollows, is a former mediaeval limestone quarry and is a limestone grassland Special Area for Conservation. Its steeply-sided holes and humps, as well as providing a great countryside walk, have long been a mecca for children and their sledges in the snow.

Although only 50 acres in size, the site is one of Britain’s most important for wildlife. It is home to eight species of orchid, the pasque flower and many other rare plants, including mountain everlasting, purple milk-vetch and common dodder. Butterflies, among them marbled white, chalkhill blue and green hairstreak, also thrive and glow-worms can be seen on warm summer nights.

Members of the new friends’ group can contribute ideas and be kept informed about decisions affecting the site. Regular visitors such as dog-walkers, local schools and businesses, naturalists, photographers, students, councillors and farmers - anyone with a passion for nature - is welcome to join.

Among the subjects for discussion will be possible newsletters and leaflets about the site, a website and social media outlets. A series of guided walks, talks and events may also be organised.

Practical activities such as habitat management, site maintenance, checking livestock, carrying out surveys and monitoring rare species will also be on the agenda, as will projects based on members’ interests, such as photography, history or archaeology. The group will be independent and have its own committee and budget.

Anyone who would like to be involved but cannot make the meeting is asked to e-mail chris.gardiner@naturalengland.org.uk