The following is from the BBOWT Yoesden web page and explains why the combination of chalk grassland and ancient woodland is so special:
- Rare Chalk Grassland: In medieval times, drovers herded their sheep across England’s chalk downlands. Sheep grazing, combined with nutrient-poor chalky soil, inhibited hardy and fast-growing rank grasses. This allowed a wide variety of less common plants to flourish - and created Yoesden’s unusually rich and diverse habitat. This pristine fragment of land is still undamaged by ploughing, fertilisers or intensive grazing to this day.
- Precious Ancient Woodland: Yoesden Wood contains impressive beech, whitebeam and yew trees, as well as oak, wych elm and ash. The ground flora is extremely diverse and features 16 ancient woodland indicators, including wood anemones, primrose, ramsons, and dog-violets. Other scarce woodland plants, such as white helleborine and bird’s-nest orchid, are also found here.