Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Kites Hill Reserve, United Kingdom

Kites Hill gate

Kites Hill, originally used as farmland, was donated to the World Land Trust by its owner as a ‘Living Legacy’ in order to ensure its protection forever, for the benefit of wildlife. Find out how the WLT continues to improve the site for wildife...

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Project aim

It is the intention of  the WLT to create a haven for wildlife, and to encourage its return by recreating natural habitats, at Kites Hill. It is hoped that by providing information material, and creating a nature trail, Kites Hill will become an education facility and demonstration project on the benefits of habitat management for conservation. As our only project in the UK, WLT also uses Kites Hill as an example of how we work with partners internationally. 

Partner:

The Conservation Volunteers (TCV)

How WLT is helping

The ancient Beech woodland at Kites Hill has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) by Natural England. With help from local partner TCV Gloucestershire, WLT's work involves maintaining the woodland's health and structure. Organic status of the pasture fields is also maintained and grazing encourages a greater diversity of plant species to benefit invertebrates.

WLT encourages the rehabilitation of butterflies, bats, owls and other species lost to the area, by providing suitable breeding and feeding sites throughout the reserve, including a wildlife pond, which was created in 2009. New interpretation panels along the Nature Trail will also provide a valuable resource for learning about conservation management.

Urgent funding needed

Although the WLT does not require funds for land purchase in the UK, funds are needed for the continued management and improvement of the site for wildlife. If you would like to make a donation to Kites Hill:

Donate to the Action Fund »

  • Specify "Kites Hill" in the comments box to earmark your donation for Kites Hill.
  • If you would like to donate or bequeath land for conservation, please contact the CEO of the World Land Trust
Red Kite
A Red Kite, the namesake of the Kites Hill, can occasionally be seen at the reserve.

Biodiversity

Kites Hill is home to a variety of Britain's most loved species.

Birds:

Marsh tit (Parus palustris), Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) and Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) all RED listed by the RSPB, indicating their conservation importance. Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), Stock dove (Columba oenas) and Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix) all listed as Amber for conservation importance by the RSPB.

Mammals:

Wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus), bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus), Serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus), Common Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) and Soprano Pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) and badger (Meles meles).

Plants:

Over 100 Species including; Beech (Fagus sylvatica), Hazel (Corylus avellana), Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), Common spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii), Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scriptus), Oak (Quercu robur) and Pyramidal orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis).

Learn more about animals in our reserves »

Threats to the Woodland and Grassland

Due to past farming practices the habitat has been degraded and species have been lost in the area. Farming at Kites Hill is now organic and cattle fencing prevents any damage to the site of natural springs. Continued management of both the woodland and grassland is bring these habitats back to a semi-natural state.

Beech Woodland
Kites Hill looks stunning in the Autumn as the leaves of the native beech trees glow vibrant orange

The reserve

Kites Hill

Total area saved by WLT: 40 acres (16ha)

Covering 40 acres (16 ha) of beautiful Cotswold countryside (designated an "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty"), the reserve combines both grassland meadow and native woodland. To the north of the reserve is a stand of beech woodland, which connects to an adjacent reserve owned and managed by the National Trust. This beech woodland has been designated as a "Site of Special Scientific Interest" (SSSI) and was also included on Natural England's "Natura 2000" site list, as part of a "network of the most important nature conservation sites in Europe".

See a map of the reserve »

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Email: info@worldlandtrust.org
Tel: +44 (0)1986 874422
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