Yardley Chase Training Area, a military training area in Northamptonshire, is little known, but the secrecy and protection it benefits from as a consequence has resulted in an unique site. Jeff Blincow describes the history of Yardley Chase Training Area and the wonderful variety of habitats and wildlife found there.
Northamptonshire rarely features in conversations about the best wildlife destinations in Britain. If it does, usually it is the well-known Rockingham Forest or the gravel pits of the Nene Valley, with their impressive duck populations, that get a mention. Less likely to feature is Yardley Chase Training Area, a military base that few have heard of – and yet this truly is a hidden gem.