Avoncliff Wood – Appeal from Woodland Trust

Help us save a “sleeping woodland beauty” – Woodland Trust’s plea to public 

The Woodland Trust is calling for the public’s help to save a wood threatened by disease but blessed with natural gems.

Avoncliff Wood is rare and beautiful ancient woodland flanking the River Avon just a few miles outside of Bath. The rambling ancient woodland 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.

Woodland Trust site manager Joe Middleton said if we take this wood under our care the Trust would not only protect it but plant trees too. He said: “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.

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. “

This opportunity will allow the charity to manage the wood and the effects of this devastating fungus, threatening millions of ash trees.

Avoncliff is a feature of a stunningly 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 wishing to visit.

If we can raise £355,000 by the end of December we’ll be able to take Avoncliff under our care and protection and get to work right away. Then, after consulting the community, we can begin creating new woodland to extend Avoncliff, offering new access to local people and protecting those remarkable views across the Avon Valley

To help the charity raise the money for Avoncliff Wood please go to: woodlandtrust.org.uk/Avoncliff * Ash dieback, also known as Chalara dieback of ash, is a serious disease that is killing ash across Europe. Ash is a very important tree in the UK both ecologically and culturally so this disease is causing great concern about the damage it will do. Ends Notes to editors For more details on this release contact Andy Bond on 03437705795 or 07725480434, or email andybond(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)woodlandtrust.org.uk

The Woodland Trust The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK. It has over 500,000 supporters.

The Trust has three key aims:

i) to protect ancient woodland, which is rare, unique and irreplaceable

ii) to restore damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life

iii) to plant native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife.

Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering over 22,500 hectares. Access to its woods is free. Further news can be found at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk