Jan 31 2020

A new life for Hucking

We bought the Hucking Estate in 1997 and began our ground-breaking restoration project. Twenty years later the people of Kent and beyond rallied in their thousands to donate to our urgent appeal to bring a slice of disused farmland next to Hucking safely into our care.  The land we acquired is already brimming with life. Natural regeneration has begun to work its magic. Oak saplings are taking root and the wildflowers on the rare chalk grassland bloom with a blaze of glory every spring.  And now we have a unique opportunity to add a second extension to the Estate – Grinnels Wood.

 

Fruits of our intensive planting can be seen from the previous phase.

Impressed by the restoration and regeneration work we’ve been doing at Hucking in her beloved Kent, a sympathetic neighbouring landowner has offered us the sale of Grinnels Wood, 12.54 hectares (31 acres) of beautiful ancient woodland, plus a further 12.14 hectares (30 acres) of open farmland.  If we can complete the purchase of this second extension it will make Hucking Estate our largest site in the South East at 310 hectares (766 acres) and a real mix of habitats.

 

We have a very clear vision for the new extension – a vision we hope will justify the vendor’s faith in our work – and that we hope you will share too.

 

The land will need some trees planted initially, but after that it’s up to nature to take over and do what it does best.  It’ll allow us to create one huge site with limitless potential as a species-rich mosaic of habitats, including fabulous ancient woodland and rare chalk grassland. Huge circular walks will be possible through the stunning Kent countryside.  But it’s a race against the clock.  A generous anonymous donor has donated the deposit we needed to take this prized land off the market, but the race is now on to raise £400,000 to finalise its purchase and fund its management. This extension will ensure this precious Kent downland can be enjoyed by future generations.

 

Grizzled skipper and marbled white butterflies were seen in ‘Pig’ field last summer. Credit: Richard Becker

“This new extension is an amazing opportunity for the Woodland Trust to get more trees in the ground and create even more havens and habitat for wildlife at Hucking.  This land is the missing piece in the jigsaw. We see it as really completing Hucking, creating those important wildlife corridors but also transforming the air of the people.”  said site manager Clive Steward.  “The ancient woodland will make a really beautiful woodland walk with stunning displays of bluebells in the spring.  We’ll be planting a few thousand trees really just to kick-start the regeneration. But after that nature will be allowed to take its course.  Please help this urgent appeal to bring yet more life to Hucking Estate. Every pound donated will make a difference.”

 

You can visit our website here if you’d like to donate to our Hucking appeal and help us to expand our estate in the South East.

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