Community Groups

Over 60 Community Groups working across Oxfordshire

There are many reasons for setting up a community group…

…they usually start with an individual or group of people who feel there is a lack of something in their community or there is an asset that needs protecting.

Some groups start with a patch of land, others start with an aim. Very often these things evolve organically and do not follow a stepwise procedure. Nevertheless, ultimately, funding-bodies will want to see evidence that your group has been democratically elected with a constitution and a bank account. Therefore, we’ve come up with some easy steps to help you get started.

We are always trying to improve this document so if you have any comments or anything to add please contact Charlotte at

Simple Steps to Start a Group

1. Talk to Your Parish Council

2. Define Your Focus or Site

3. Hold an Annual General Meeting

4. Define Your Aims and Write a Constitution

5. Elect a Committee and Define Roles

6. The Key Roles are:

7. Finance

8. Insurance

9. Legal Structures

10. Funds

11. Generating Publicity and Support

12. Time to Get to Work

Inspiration / Case Studies

Our Work - Community Ecology

Ask to join our community groups Facebook page to get more advice from other groups like you in Oxfordshire! Please be sure to answer the admin questions so that we can add you.

There are many different funding routes across Oxfordshire:

The Trust For Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE) have funded over 250 projects representing more than £1.5 million in grants. TOE has a variety of grants available to support projects that meet the following general criteria:Improve the overall biodiversity of habitats including woodlands, ponds, rivers, meadows, greenspaces and the wider countryside.Improve breeding or habitat conditions for particular species, e.g. planting nectar rich plants for bumblebees.Expand the biodiversity resource within the 36 Conservation Target Areas (CTAs).Improve the quality, quantity and/or coverage of voluntary species recording in Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

SPARK funding (Communities) is a small scale grants scheme offering up to £1,000 to voluntary and charitable organisations in Cherwell District to undertake new projects or extend the reach of the programmes they currently run.

West Oxfordshire District Council invite applications for their Community Activities Grants (max £500) available for community groups wishing to develop arts, heritage or community-based projects in West Oxfordshire which contribute to the health and wellbeing of residents and quality of community life.

Each Oxford City councillor has an annual budget of £1,500 to spend in their ward on projects that provide economic, social and environmental benefit to the local community.

Every South Oxfordshire District Councillor has a budget of £5,000 to award to projects or services that will benefit communities in their ward.

Oxfordshire County Council has allocated a funding pot of £15,000 for each county councillor to allocate to local causes for this financial year.

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation aims to improve the quality of life throughout the UK. Their primary interests are in the cultural life of the UK, education and learning, the natural environment and enabling disadvantaged people to participate more fully in society.

The Chestnut Fund is part of TCV’s commitment to support Community Network members. The fund makes grants available to encourage and enable community groups to carry out conservation activities. The applications are considered and administered by TCV Chestnut Fund Committee.

Co-op Mid-Counties Local Community Fund offer a range of funding and grants for local charities, community groups, campaigns and events.

Every year BIG Lottery Fund gives millions of pounds from the National Lottery to good causes. Their money goes to community groups and to projects that improve health, education and the environment. There are many strands to their funding, so be prepared to spend some time researching which one is most relevant to your project. See some examples of biodiversity projects.

If you are within 10 miles of an Environment Agency registered landfill site & are looking for funding for the conservation or promotion of biodiversity you might be eligable for the ENTRUST Landfill Communities Fund.

The Tree Council’s Trees and Hedgerows for Wildlife & Biodiversity Fund will support projects which benefit local animals and insects. Schools, community groups, parish and town councils, and tree warden networks within the UK can apply for grants of between £300 and £1,500.

The Woodland Trust’s MOREhedges scheme includes saplings, advice and funding for new hedging projects of 100 metres or more. It is designed to create new wildlife corridors by connecting trees with the surrounding landscape. Funding is available for any landowners or farmers to plant hedgerows on their land as long as: they are not already in receipt of funding for planting that hedgerow the eligibility criteria are met. Anyone can apply on behalf of the landowner but they must have the landowner’s permission.

Cherwell District Council have recently published their CDC Community Nature Plan 2018-2020 to demonstrate how it will fulfil its duty under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006 and comply with its obligations relating to important wildlife sites, habitats and species under European and national legislation as well as the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Forestry Commission

Groups in Oxfordshire

There are over 60 Community Groups working across Oxfordshire to bring the wild back into their neighbourhood for the benefit of wildlife and their community. One of the best things you can do for Nature is to join your local community group...if there isn't one why not start one? Use the map to see if there is one near you.

bring the wild back into their neigh

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 wood fuel.  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 view from the map.

Join our community groups Facebook page to connect with the other groups within Oxfordshire. Wild Oxfordshire host the page to ensure that your questions are answered. ‘Stronger together for nature’s recovery – bigger, better, joined.’ (Anon)

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