The Woodland Trust is calling for the public’s help to save a beautiful area of local woodland threatened by disease.
Avoncliff Wood is rare and ancient woodland flanking the River Avon just a few miles outside of Bath.
The rambling ancient wood has been untouched for generations which has allowed vast carpets of wild garlic to spread across the woodland floor. Alongside the wood is a further 26 acres of land, offering an exciting prospect to plant further trees and create a wildlife-rich mosaic of trees and open spaces.
The trust needs to raise £355,000 by the end of December in order to take Avoncliff under its care.
This opportunity will allow the charity to manage the wood and the effects of a devastating fungus – ash dieback, also known as Chalara dieback of ash – which is threatening millions of ash trees.
Woodland Trust site manager Joe Middleton has said that if the trust is able to acquire this wood, then it will not only protect it, but also plans to plant more trees.
“This is a golden opportunity. It is rare to find a wood so completely untouched – a haven for wildlife including pipistrelle bats, greater and lesser horseshoe bats, green woodpeckers, kingfishers, swallows and song thrush,” he said.
“There are certain challenges ahead, not least the presence of ash dieback in the woods, so we want to make Avoncliff more resilient by carefully planting new trees nearby.”
Avoncliff is a feature of a beautiful landscape and ramblers pass by the undisturbed woodland on a daily basis as they walk alongside the riverside footpath that links the villages of Freshford and Avoncliff. Though the road network is narrow and parking limited there are good rail and cycle networks to this area, offering sustainable transport options for those visiting.
The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK which aims to protect and restore ancient woodland, and plant native trees to create a resilient landscape for people and wildlife.
To help The Woodland Trust raise funds for Avoncliff Wood, go to: woodlandtrust.org.uk/Avoncliff