Landscapes for Wildlife - Braydon Forest

Landscapes for wildlifeLandscapes for wildlife

taking a targeted approach to restoring, recreating and linking habitats

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust

This scheme aims to expand and link together scattered areas of wildlife-rich land in the ancient Royal Hunting Forest of Braydon in North Wiltshire.

The 30 square mile Braydon Forest is an outstanding area of conservation and a significantly important landscape in Wiltshire for its current and potential high biodiversity and aesthetic amenity value.

As an ancient Medieval hunting forest it has a valuable mix of habitats including ancient woodland, neutral grassland and open water. The area is also important as it is in the catchment area for the Thames. The Forest's proximity to the Cotswold Water Park, Swindon and other smaller communities ensure its value as a local and regional amenity.

This scheme is taking a targeted approach to restoring, recreating and linking habitats, so that wildlife will be more able to survive the changes and uncertainties that it might face in the future. The main focus is on broadleaved woodland, as well as hay meadows and pastures

What’s happening?

We are: 

  • Rebuilding biodiversity and linking sites by working with landowners and providing management advice.
  • Undertaking meadow restoration work through complete wildflower and grass re-seeding and by introducing desired wildflower species into existing swards.
  • Restoration works are followed by assisting landowners to manage the sites, undertaking activities such as hay cutting and finding suitable stock for grazing.
  • Other work includes hedgerow and pond enhancement and restoration.

So far, we have achieved:

  • 114 holdings visited covering 3,800 hectares and 4 Higher Level Stewardship agreements approved covering 355 hectares.
  • 90 hectares of woodland surveyed and 45 hectares of woodland bought into favourable condition.
  • 57 hectares of grassland re-seeded and 133 hectares of grassland brought into favourable condition.
  • 6.3 km of hedgerow created or restored.
  • 41 ponds surveyed and 24 ponds created or restored
  • 2 km of watercourse enhanced.

Start date: 2006

Scheme area: 8,000 hectares

Trust reserves within the scheme

Clattinger Farm, Lower Moor Farm, Swillbrook Lake, Emmet Hill,
Distillery Meadows, Ravensroost, Upper Waterhay, Blakehill Farm,
Brockhurst Meadow, The Firs, Echo Lodge Farm Meadows & Wood

This scheme is helping species including...

Marsh fritillary butterfly, spotted flycatcher, bullfinch, song thrush, brown hare, reed bunting, great crested newt, water vole, bats

Current threats to the landscape

Habitat fragmentation

This scheme is also...

Helping wildlife adapt to climate change, providing volunteering opportunities and skills training


The Hills Group, local landowners.

To find out more

Email: | Tel: 01380 725670 | Braydon Forest



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