ON SATURDAY 23RD JUNE 2018 AT 10:30am

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Reserve Location

The reserve is situated to the west side of Holtspur Top Lane Beaconsfield and can be reached by going down the footpath B33 opposite Cherry Tree Road or by going along Riding Lane to the five barred gate on the left just before the right hand bend.

See map

Holtspur Bank is an area of chalk grassland and ancient woodland which was designated as a Local Nature Reserve in 1995.

The Reserve is owned by Beaconsfield Town Council, as is the other side of the valley which is leased to and managed by Butterfly Conservation.  It can be accessed at all times, though it is best if people keep to the paths and keep dogs under control.

We are very fortunate to have such a beautiful area on our doorstep as so much of this sort of countryside has been lost in the last fifty years. The reserve lies on the north eastern slope of the Beaconsfield gravel plateau and consists of chalk grassland at the eastern end and woodland to the west.  The two habitats are separated by an ancient woodland boundary bank.

In the woodland called ‘Cut Throat Wood’ the trees at the top of the slope on the gravelly soil are mainly oak with honeysuckle and bramble beneath.  Old coppiced hazels and whitebeam grow on the chalk lower slopes and many interesting members of the orchid family can be  found among the trees during the spring and summer. 

The Nature reserve is managed by the town council with support from our group

'The Friends of Holtspur Bank (LNR)' (LocalNature Reserve).

The Friends Group carry out conservation work such as path and scrub clearance, hazel coppicing, and raise funds for various projects on the reserve.  They also organise walks during the Spring, Summmer and Autumn, which are lead by qualified guides and produce a regular newsletter giving details of their activities and future events.  The Council hire contractors for necessary major work.

'The Friends of Holtspur Bank'

This local group consists of people of all ages who have a strong interest in conservation. Membership costs just £4 per year for the whole household. If you feel you cannot volunteer for work parties, don't be put off from joining. Many of our members support us by their subscription alone and, for various reasons, don't get involved in any of the work on the Reserve.



April 2018

From Shirley

The year 2018 started with a well-attended work party in which a lot of scrub was cleared from the lower area of the chalk bank.  I had not been to the reserve for some time and was amazed at the difference. This was followed by our usual Christmas mulled wine party.

Since then there have been two more Friends work parties with the ever-popular bonfires!

In addition, work parties have been held by Chiltern Rangers who bring in volunteers from various groups such as the Peter Jones Academy and Scottish and Southern Electricity. As they have chain saws and big brush cutters they can do major works such as extending the glade in Cut Throat Wood where we hope the existing early purple orchids will be able to increase in numbers with the increase in light.  

Over the winter the Friends have also made sure that trees which were posing a danger to anyone walking the woodland paths or were threatening to fall into people’s gardens on the Reserve boundaries were cut down, either by members or by the Town Council.  Also, the bird boxes on the reserve were taken down and repaired.

The ant hills on the chalk bank show up very well now as the sheep have grazed the grass closely and there is at least one which has been scraped by a badger eager to get at the ants.

I’m sure that many of you will know that Ian Ridley has decided to retire as from the end of March.  Ian was the first person to reply to my appeal for volunteers in 1995 and has done the job of treasurer, secretary and membership secretary ever since. I felt that the occasion could not pass without us letting him know how much we have appreciated him so I hope that as many of the Friends who can, will come and have a drink at 10 Burgess Wood Grove after the work party (cowslip count) on 29th April to say thank you for all he has done over the last 23 years.


                        Work Parties in 2018 - meet at the Riding Lane entrance at 10:00 am.


The work to be carried out at Friends work parties will be decided according to requirements

and in conjunction with work carried out for the Town Council by John Shaw and the Chiltern Rangers CIC.

To join the friends group call Pauline Knapp our Membership Secretary on 01494 680185 and request an application form.

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