Apr 02 2020

Bigger is better!

The Trust recently ran a fundraising appeal to purchase an extension to the Hucking Estate, near Maidstone, Kent. We’re thrilled to announce that this has been a great success.

 

Thanks to the generosity of people across the UK, this new expanse will extend Hucking to a whopping 766 acres, making it our largest site in South East England.

 

Perfect for an autumn stroll. Credit: Philip Formby

Having made way for farming over years, we will secure this rural oasis and inject new life into the land by allowing native trees to grow, creating wildlife corridors and fighting the effects of climate change. Ancient woodland will be restored back to former glory. Scrub and species-rich rare chalk grassland will be protected. Wildlife habitats will receive the urgent attention they deserve and provide long-term safe havens for species such as the grizzled skipper butterfly and rapidly declining numbers of marsh tit.

 

 

Hucking Estate is already a fantastic site in the stunning surroundings of the Kent Downs AONB, which this new extension will enhance:

 

  • 19 threatened bird species have been recorded there, including turtle dove, skylark, yellowhammer and corn bunting.
  • 25 species of butterfly including the marbled white which had been absent from Hucking for many years, the silver washed fritillary and the purple hairstreak.
  • Bats such as Daubenton’s, brown long eared and natterer’s can be found in the ancient semi-natural woodland, using two old disused chalk pits to roost.
  • It’s also one of the Trust’s top 10 bluebell sites!

 

We’re looking forward to its bigger and better future with limitless potential as a species-rich mosaic of habitats, including fabulous ancient woodland and rare chalk grassland.

 

You might get to see a Yellowhammer. Credit: Tony Cox WTML

Hucking is home to the Marbled White . Credit: John Bridges/WTML

 

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