New Action Plan for Nature in Buckinghamshire – come and do your bit for nature where you live

New Action Plan for Nature in Buckinghamshire – come and do your bit for nature where you live

Chiltern Rangers, Green Thursday volunteers, BBOWT and B&MKNEP staff join forces for wildlife with Cllr Hugh McCarthy (B&MKNEP board member and deputy leader Wycombe District Council) at Gomm Valley. Pic: Alex Harley

Helping to look after local wildlife is part of the new Biodiversity Action Plan for Buckinghamshire, created by a partnership of wildlife and nature conservation groups with the county’s local authorities.

Buckinghamshire’s Natural Environment Partnership is leading an innovative project across the Chilterns escarpment and Gomm Valley. In partnership with Chiltern Rangers and the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust, volunteers are working on the Gomm Valley Local Nature Reserve (picture above) to improve conditions for wildlife. This has been made possible through funding from Natural England and the Bucks & MK Natural Environment Partnership.

Hugh McCarthy, deputy leader of Wycombe District Council and a board member of the Natural Environment Partnership says: “The work at Gomm Valley shows how volunteering organisations such as the Wildlife Trust and Chiltern Rangers can work collaboratively on local nature reserves. We will be working with volunteers and wildlife conservation groups on a network of similar sites across Buckinghamshire where we can improve opportunities for nature and wildlife."

John Shaw from Chiltern Rangers, who is leading the volunteer workparty says: “Chiltern Rangers CIC is delighted to be working with the Natural Environment Partnership and partner organisations such as Butterfly Conservation and Chiltern Society to help deliver a programme of conservation volunteering sessions in March. We will be working at several sites in Bucks including Coombe Hill, Pulpit Hill, (National Trust) and Penn Wood (Woodland Trust). Sessions are open to the public, so feel free to come make a difference to these fantastic local places.”

Christopher Williams, head of conservation and education for Buckinghamshire at the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust, explains what the Biodiversity Action Plan will do. “Our target is to restore or create 20% more priority habitat for wildlife in Buckinghamshire by 2020. This will be achieved through volunteering groups working with the Trust and others restoring, recreating and connecting natural wildlife habitats across the whole county.

“We have a responsibility to make sure the rarest and most vulnerable wildlife such as water voles, skylarks, butterflies, and wild flowers of the Chilterns have a sustainable future in Buckinghamshire – and this is something everyone can get involved with.”

The Biodiversity Action Plan has been developed by the Natural Environment Partnership with local authorities, conservation groups including the Chilterns Conservation Board and the Parks Trust in Milton Keynes, the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust, RSPB and Natural England.