The Countryside Restoration Trust is the UK’s leading charity promoting wildlife friendly farming. They campaign for a living, working countryside. They believe that wildlife is integral to good farming. That philosophy is put into practice on over 1,500 acres of working farms, small-holdings and woodland across the country.
In Beacon Hill and Hindhead, we are fortunate enough to have 200 acres of woodland, owned by the Countryside Restoration Trust, on our doorstep. Over the years, it has become known as ‘the Common’ and many people walk their dogs there and, in spring, visit the bluebells. Some years back, the Women’s Institute held their ‘Nightjar walks’ to the Common – the Nightjar can still be heard from about May onwards – but we don’t think the WI still have their walks! What might not be known is that the Common is actually called Green Farm.
Green Farm was left to the CRT by John Broadbent-Jones. He had planted over 30,000 broadleaved trees, in what is very sandy soil, to replace many of the conifers. The Farm comprises about 200 acres of woodland and pasture – the woodland is now managed by the trust and the pasture is rented out for grazing. In fact, there are two other parts to the farm; one which can be found from Hyde Lane and is ancient woodland and the other, called Gravel Hanger, behind the Recreation Ground.
The main part of Green Farm, however, is noted for its wildlife and the Nighjar, Woodlark, Grayling butterfly and Silver-washed Fritillary butterfly may be found, not to mention the odd Adder.
The CRT are always looking for volunteers to help with various jobs on the Farm and, if there are any people who are wildlife knowledgeable, would also be very keen to set up a monitoring group to identify the various species within the estate. Anyone interested can contact Kenny MacKay on 01223 262999 or Kenny@countrysiderestorationtrust.com