Briddlesford Woods on the Isle of Wight contains a unique ecosystem of rare and endangered wildlife including dormice, red squirrels, barbastelles and Bechstein’s bats, wood crickets and narrow-leaved lungwort. It is a site of national and international importance for woodland mammals holding key populations of threatened species and it is vital that it is protected and maintained.
It ran from 9:30 AM, 23 February 2009 to 9:00 AM, 18 May 2009
Registered Charity in England and Wales (274206)
At Briddlesford Woods we are restoring the woodland to its former glory and protecting the rare species it sustains. In order to maintain and improve this unique habitat and its outstanding variety of animals and plants, consistent and well-planned management is needed. We are carefully managing the woodlands by • planting thousands of native trees to encourage the regeneration of surrounding copses • regularly coppicing to ensure hazelnuts for the native red squirrels and dormice and to encourage wildflowers and insects • monitoring the priority species including regular checks of over 400 dormouse boxes • planting hedgerow corridors to link woodland habitat • keeping rides open to provide light and good habitat for wild flowers, butterflies and other insects • grazing the farmland fields and sowing two of them with spring wheat left as overwintered stubbles for birds and rare arable plants such as the nationally-scarce broad-leaved spurge and lesser quaking grass • creating ponds in the grassland fields to attract frogs, diving beetles and dragon flies • non intervention in some parts of the copse where natural processes are permitted to shape the woodland composition and structure Managing the woodlands for dormice is a top priority. Through our careful monitoring of the dormouse population, we have watched the decline slow to a stable though still vulnerable position so our ongoing management of the woodland is absolutely vital. While we have achieved a great deal since we purchased this site in 1991 there is still a lot more to do. We benefit from some grant assistance from the government and its agencies for managing these reserves. The rest of the funds required we have to raise ourselves each year and we are appealing for donations to our Briddlesford Woods fund so that we can plan our protection of this unique place into the future with confidence. Please help us if you can.
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