Protecting and Enhancing Oxfordshire's Habitats with the Big Give Christmas Challenge

Our aim is to restore and improve Oxfordshire hedgerows and verges which  criss-cross parishes, providing vital wildlife corridors. There are hedgerows and verges in every parish, but many are in poor condition; we will work to support local groups to strengthen these living networks.

Wildlife diversity continues to plummet, so it is becoming increasingly important to ensure that hedgerows and roadside verges provide essential wildlife corridors.  Hedgerows often develop gaps due to poor management and the diversity is 'mown' out of verges. Local communities want to help, as demonstrated by the many parishes which have declared a 'climate and ecological emergency'. However, many individuals and voluntary groups lack knowledge and expertise.

Those of you with good memories will have spotted that this year we’ve widened the focus from just hedges to add another linear habitat of edges. Years 1 & 2 of the hedgerow project highlighted the demand for help & advice by communities. Additional funding will help us to develop and deliver this work. As a small charity we cannot create a ‘new funding project’ every year, we want to be able to fund what is requested and needed by the local Community Groups. Whilst interest and demand is strong we will continue to use ‘Hedges & Edges’ as a theme.

Left - Bee Orchid in South Oxfordshire, Right - Guelder rose in Autumn

Hedges and verges provide an appealing starting point to engage  new people in local conservation. With extra staff time and additional funding, we will support more groups to improve their local hedges and edges:  

  • Running training courses for surveying, planting & managing hedgerows & verges;  
  • Providing site & community-specific advice;
  • Producing free materials for communities to use.
“The strength of the Oxfordshire project was in its grassroots engagement with communities, thanks to Wild Oxfordshire, building up a whole network of people who are now inspired to care for their local hedgerows. It’s been a great partnership project.” - Helen Marshall, Director CPRE Oxfordshire

How can you help us reach £20,000?

Donations via the Big Give – the platform was open for 7 days only 28th Nov – 5 Dec. You can see the totals reached here.

Share the links and information with your employer, colleagues, family and friends.  

“I wanted to say thank you for the places being funded. That made a real difference to me at this time and made it possible to participate. I really hope you'll continue to pursue ways to make things like this accessible, because I know other people for whom that really matters"
- Volunteer, 2022 hedgelaying training
Hedgerow Planting in Watlington (c) Nicola Schafer

Wild Oxfordshire resources:

There are plenty of hedgerow resources from our hedgerow heroes project, and even more here

‘Edges’ can range from roadside verges to edges of sports fields to small community grasslands. Take a look at the verges or wildflower meadow sections of our resource library to find out more.

Contact our Community Ecology Team:

For all things Hedgerows including: Training in hedge-laying or surveying hedgerows, contact our Hedgerows and Partnerships Officer, Jessica. If you’re a group with a site that can plant or rejuvenate a hedgerow in 2024 get in touch to see if we can help.

For advice on habitat management, contact our Community Ecologist, Imogen Parker