The Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project is implementing a programme of practical nature conservation management, setting up and running a survey and monitoring programme for rare plant and animal species, as well as developing education, interpretation and promotional work to encourage greater public understanding and enjoyment of the wildlife interest of the area.
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Registered Charity in England and Wales (1104986)
The Avon Gorge is not just a spectacular natural landmark, it is of exceptional nature conservation importance. It is designated nationally as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is also recognised as being of international importance as a Special Area of Conservation under the European Habitats Directive. It supports two species of tree, Bristol whitebeam and Wilmotts whitebeam found nowhere else in the world and a large number of other rarities such as the Bristol rock-cress for which the Gorge is the only known British site. The Gorge is also known for its rare insects, mammals and birds including greater and lesser horseshoe bats and peregrine falcons. The Downs support large areas of limestone grassland with scarce wildflowers such as wild thyme and rock rose and several native orchids. Bristol Zoo Gardens, and the other project partners want to make sure that the rare plants and animals that survive there are safe for the future. They also want to ensure that local people have more opportunities to enjoy and learn about this unique location. This project provides the first real opportunity to employ rock climbing botanists and conservation workers to carry out urgent works to monitor and look after the unique rare plants and animals of the Gorge well into the next Millennium.
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