Baring All for Wildlife at Budby South Forest

In the coming weeks you will see some mighty machinery on the heath at Budby South Forest. Don’t worry– it’s part of some funded work to make the heathland better for wildlife and our visitors.

The Baring All at Budby Project aims to improve the quality of heathland at RSPB Budby South Forest Nature Reserve, thanks to funding from Biffa Award as part of the Landfill Communities Fund. The project will focus on exposing more bare ground to provide homes for rare heathland wildlife.

Often overlooked, bare sandy ground is an important part of a heathland’s make-up, and by creating more of it, the project will help some rare and specialist wildlife to flourish.

We will be creating some interesting features like ‘insect amphitheatres’ and bee banks, as well as scraping away nutrient-rich soil from existing footpaths to expose the sandy substrate below. Once the exposed ground is created, it will provide sandy homes for wildlife like black oil beetles and ashy mining bees, which like to burrow into compact bare earth to make their nests.

As well as creating areas of bare ground, the funding from Biffa Award will allow improvements to be made to grazing infrastructure across the nature reserve. New fencing will allow traditional heathland management using iconic longhorn cattle to continue, which will also benefit wildlife and maintain the landscape.

Alongside this we’ll be carrying out some work to improve the woodland areas on the reserve, create more corridors and open spaces and preserve special trees, thanks to funding from Natural England.

Birds like marsh tits, spotted flycatchers and lesser spotted woodpeckers plus several bat species and rare clearwing moths will benefit from more decaying wood, open glades, extended wood edge habitat and greater range of structure and species of tree.

The reserve will look a little bit raw as we carry out our work, but with time it will enable wildlife to thrive.

For your own safety and that of others and wildlife, please follow any safety instructions you see around the site.

If you’d like to know more about the wildlife or work at Budby, please get in touch with RSPB Site Manager Chloe Ryder:
07718 248 953 |