Friday 27 January 2012
Over 80 people took part in a day of conservation work at Dunstable Downs yesterday - quite possibly the biggest group ever to spend a day working on a Chilterns' wildlife site.
Dunstable Downs is owned by Central Bedfordshire Council and managed by the National Trust. It's very popular as a place for people to walk and to enjoy the fantastic views. It's also important for wildlife, with nationally-protected chalk downland which is home to wildflowers and butterflies in summer.
Some of the downland has become covered in thorny scrub so the Chilterns Conservation Board, in partnership with the National Trust, organised a one day work party on 26th January to tackle the scub and open up the downland. Volunteers and staff came from organisations all over the Chilterns, including local Wildlife Trusts, Wycombe District Council in Bucks, several National Trust estates and the Conservation Board. Using brushcutters, chainsaws and hand saws the scrub was cut and burned and by the end of the day large areas had been cleared. It was hard but enjoyable work and everyone was sustained by a tasty local delicacy - a Bedfordshire Clanger - at lunchtime!