Great news for local butterflies as Wildlife Trust purchases Deacon Hill in Winchester

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust are delighted to announce the purchase of Deacon Hill. The site is a 10 hectare patchwork of scrub and chalk grassland overlooking the Chilcomb valley, at the gateway to the South Downs National Park. The land has been purchased by the Trust following a successful fundraising appeal, a gift in the Will of two local residents and generous grants from Hampshire County Council, the South Downs National Park and strong support from Officers and members of the Butterfly Conservation Hampshire Branch.

This fabulous site is Winchester’s only remaining stronghold for the Duke of Burgundy butterfly, as well as supporting a range of breeding farmland birds including whitethroat, yellowhammer, linnet and blackcap, and many other wildlife species such as the harvest mouse and glow worm. The Trust will now start the task of restoring the site with support and advice from our partners.

Duke of Burgundy Fritillary- G Hoggarth

Debbie Tann, Chief Executive at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust said “We are delighted to announce this news as the Trust has held a long term ambition to purchase Deacon Hill.  Deacon Hill is a crucial piece of land in a whole network of sites around Winchester that are managed by the Trust with wildlife in mind. I want to thank everyone who has helped the Trust finally make this dream a reality.”

At the end of 2019, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust published its new ten year plan, WILDER 2030. The plan sets out the overall aim to secure a third of land and sea for wildlife and to double the Trust’s own estate across the two counties in the coming decade.  The Wildlife Trust also wants to see many more people joining forces to back nature’s recovery and become part of ‘Team Wilder’.

For more information on this latest news please visit hiwwt.org.uk/deaconhill

Notes to editors:

About Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust strives to create a better future for wildlife and wild places in our two counties. With the support of our 25,000 members we’re taking effective action to protect our natural heritage. We’re also part of a UK-wide partnership of 46 Wildlife Trusts; together we are the nation’s most active and influential nature conservation partnership protecting wildlife in every part of the UK. Discover wildlife on your doorstep with your Wildlife Trust by visiting www.hiwwt.org.uk

ENDS