WLT has created a haven for wildlife at Kites Hill by managing the reserve to restore and maintain natural habitats. With a nature trail and interpretation boards on site, the reserve is both an education facility and a demonstration of the benefits of habitat management for conservation. As WLT’s only project in the UK, Kites Hill is an excellent example of how the Trust works with partners internationally.
The ancient Beech woodland at Kites Hill is part of the Cotswold Commons and Beechwoods Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is recognised to be of European importance as a Special Area of Conservation. With help from TCV Gloucestershire, WLT’s conservation work involves maintaining the woodland’s health and structure. The fields are farmed to organic standards and grazing encourages a greater diversity of plant species to benefit invertebrates.
WLT has provided breeding sites (including standing dead wood, nest boxes and stacks of wood) throughout the reserve for species of butterflies, bats, owls and other species that had previously disappeared from the area. In 2009 WLT created a wildlife pond, which is now attracting invertebrates and other pondlife. In 2015 interpretation panels were installed along the nature trail which provide a valuable resource for learning about conservation.
Although 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, please 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 World Land Trust
Kites Hill is home to a variety of Britain's most loved species.
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) are all listed as Amber for conservation importance by the RSPB.
Wood Mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus), Bank Vole (Clethrionomys glareolus), Serotine Bat (Eptesicus serotinus), Common Pipistrelle Bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) and Soprano Pipistrelle Bat (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) and badger (Meles meles).
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).
Due to past farming practices the habitat at Kites Hill has been degraded and species have been lost in the area. The farming at Kites Hill now meets organic standards and cattle fencing prevents damage to natural springs. Continued management of woodland and grassland is restoring these habitats to a semi-natural state.
Total area saved by WLT: 40 acres (16 hectares)
Covering 40 acres (16 hectares) of beautiful Cotswold countryside and 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 is part of the Cotswold Commons and Beechwoods 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.