A £100,000 appeal was launched last week to increase the area of a nature reserve in the Chiltern Hills by a third.

The appeal comes from the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust who say extending the Yoesden nature reserve near Bledlow Ridge will give rare plants and butterflies more habitats.

Christopher Williams, head of conservation & education for Buckinghamshire, is leading a project to raise £105,000 to buy three plots of land that adjoin the nature reserve.

Mr Williams said: “If we’re successful we will increase the size of the reserve by about a third.

“This will help to boost its biodiversity and encourage the wild flowers and butterflies to extend their ranges across the area of restored grassland.”

The Wildlife Trust bought Yoesden nature reserve, which is located in the Radnage valley, about a year ago and the south-west facing chalk bank is home to 28 species of butterfly.

The new land that the trust hopes to buy includes a chalk bank which Chiltern Conservation Board (CCB) has described as the “rainforest of the Chilterns”.

Neil Jackson, Conservation and Landscape Officer at CCB, said: “Yoesden Bank has some of the best chalk grassland in the Chilterns and we fully support BBOWT in their efforts to expand the reserve.

“Chalk grassland is the ‘rainforest’ of the Chilterns and is a very rich but threatened habitat.

“It’s marvellous that BBOWT has this opportunity to increase the amount of ancient woodland in the reserve.”

Below the chalk bank is a small wooded area of 1.5 acres that forms a natural extension to the woodland that the trust already owns.

The public appeal to purchase the three plots of land at Yoesden is available at www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/yoesden.