Roselle Chapman our Community Ecologist is aiming to gather a baseline of phase 1 surveys of all sites managed by volunteer groups – so we know who’s managing what habitats and is happy to offer any wildlife advice or support as requested, email email@example.com
Wild Oxfordshire works to support the hundreds of volunteers who give their time to look after local wildlife. We also provide advice and support to Parish Councils who are interested in conservation and the environment.
- Oxfordshire’s Volunteer Led Environment Groups
We are fortunate in Oxfordshire to have over 80 community groups attracting more than 1,000 volunteers actively working to conserve wildlife in their local ‘patch’. These groups are run by local residents, generally with the support of the parish council. Some groups may be restoring ponds, while others are planting trees and hedgerows, creating meadows or managing their churchyard for wildlife. Example case studies of community led local environment groups can be viewed here:
- Enhancing the floral diversity of nine Road Verge Nature Reserves and green spaces in West Oxfordshire through Wychwood’s Suck Seed & Sow Project,
- SS Mary & John Churchyard in Cowley is managed for people and wildlife through weekly volunteer working sessions.
- Horspath Conservation Area, is a Local Wildlife Site is established in the disused railway cutting and managed by volunteers.
- Friends of Lye Valley, work to protect and preserve this
internationally important SSSI for wildlife in the Headington area.
- Friends of Barton Fields, manage this grassland and marsh situated next to the Thames in Abingdon and monitor their progress by recording species.
- A former Oxford City rubbish tip Astons Eyot is now a mosaic of habitats: some woodland (both plantation & self-generated) but most is open or scrubland. Friends of Astons Eyot was formed in 2010 with a view to securing the Eyot’s future and avoiding both unsympathetic management and deterioration of the environment due to lack of any management at all.
- Chipping Norton Bumblebee Project A local group identified several potential sites including Chipping Norton School, the cemetery, a garden centre and the recently opened health centre to be ‘improved’ by establishing wildflower grasslands and ‘bee-friendly’ herbaceous borders.
- A month by month action plan – Woodcote Conservation Group.
- The value of dead wood – Kirtlington Wildlife and Conservation Group.
- Planting woodlands helps combat climate change and will provide future havens for wildlife if managed appropriately. Leafield Community Wood, Stoke Wood, Daedas Wood are all highly valued by the communities that manage them.
- Langford Community Orchard – nurturing an area of natural beauty and tranquillity, to enhance the range of plants and wildlife so that it’s an enjoyable place to spend time, have fun, learn, and relax.
- Watlington Environment Group – undertaking practical work to improve the water quality and support biodiversity and wildlife as well as raising public awareness of precious chalk streams with Watlington Environment Group.
- Thrupp Lakes – thanks to the enthusiasm of local experts, Abingdon Naturalists and volunteers, these lakes have been surveyed regularly and extensively with the results helping to inform conservation and management priorities.
- Benson Nature Group – engaging with developers to ensure that provision of new green infrastructure and biodiversity enhancements take account of locally relevant priorities.
- Introducing yellow rattle (Rhinanthus minor L.) to enhance biodiversity in an ungrazed flood meadow – Hurst Water Meadow Trust.
- Getting outside help for their ambitious conservation project on old allotments off Iffley Road in Oxford – Oxford Urban Wildlife Group
The work of each local group is vital to provide a mosaic of essential habitats across our county. Some groups are also contributing to atmospheric carbon reduction through woodland management for woodfuel. If you would like to join a local environment group in your area you will be made very welcome. Find them listed in the Directory or search our map.
‘Volunteers are not paid – not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.’ (Anon)