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Volunteers join forces to help local landmark

27 March 19

Volunteers join forces to help local landmark

We joined forces with the White Cliffs Countryside Partnership on Wednesday 27 March to come to the aid of popular nature attraction, Folkestone Warren.

Folkestone Warren, which sits under the world famous White Cliffs, is one of only a few places in the UK created by landslips. The chalk lies on top of softer rock in this area, leading to landslips over thousands of years to form the Undercliff and chalk grasslands, which are one of Europe’s richest habitats for plants and wildlife.

The Warren is also classed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and has around 40 different plants species in just a single square metre. This variety of wild flowers provides homes and food for many different insects, which are critical to the local area’s ecosystem.

To maintain and improve this sensitive eco system, the chalk grassland needs to be grazed or cleared to prevent the spread of trees, which can shade out the rare wildflowers and damage the habitat for insects. Insects are important pollinators and also provide a food source for birds and small mammals, underpinning the food chain.

The trees in Folkestone Warren are less than 100 years old and appeared shortly after grazing stopped in 1924.

We worked together to clear scrubs and brambles, which will help to maintain the open grassland and prevent the spread of trees. Footpaths were also improved, which are used by 1,000s of visitors each year.

Our Corporate Responsibility Manager, Bev Taylor said: “We are delighted to be out working with White Cliffs Countryside Partnership who share our passion for looking after our communities environment. Especially as this work will help to improve this sensitive area which many local people, including my family and friends have come to enjoy for generations.

White Cliffs Countryside Partnership Manager, Richard Haynes said: “Volunteers from local communities are essential for us to help the wonderful landscape and wildlife of places like Folkestone Warren. As a locally based company, Affinity Water is a great asset to us as it is committed to the communities and environment of the local area and regularly provides volunteers to help us care for special places such as this.

For more information, events or to volunteer for White Cliffs Countryside Partnership activities, please visit www.whitecliffscountryside.org.uk

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