Conservation projects

July 2016 - October 2017

Suck Seed and Sow

A project to enhance six road verges and three green spaces in Crawley, Chipping Norton, Chadlington, Taynton and Worsham, funded by:

The Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE2) Ltd and Cotswolds Conservation Board Sustainable Development Fund.

Road verges are hugely important for the diversity of flowering plants that they support, which range from the appealing and widespread Blue Meadow Cranesbill to the nationally rare Downy Woundwort. 

Flower rich road side verges are not just beautiful, they are also a valuable habitat for birds and small mammals. Verges act as essential wildlife corridors along which species can move and spread, linking habitats and allowing wildlife to re-colonise landscapes fragmented by modern agriculture. 

Verges also act as an important refuge and food source for many beneficial key pollination insects, such as the honeybee, which is thought to have an ‘eco-system service’ value to the agricultural economy of between £120 and £150 million.

During the summer of 2016 we are gathering seed both by hand and using a specially adapted vacuum from several ‘donor’ sites.   ‘Receptor’ sites will be prepared by scarification, leaving up to 60% of bare soil, creating the best conditions for seed germination and growth.

 Wychwood Flora Group have gathered information on previous surveys of the sites and undertaken monitoring so that we can judge if our interventions result in better flora diversity in the future.  

Update in November 2016: we have now secured £8,000 from Tesco Little Bag of Help fund for this project in 2017. Thanks to all who voted for us in-store.

January 2016 - ongoing

Evenlode Valley Trees Project

This initiative focuses on planting hedgerow trees which will be maintained as ‘standards’ and establishing new hedgerows or small woodland areas where appropriate.  Each situation is different, but trees can have many benefits such as for wildlife habitat, soil protection and flood alleviation.

September 2015 - December 2016

A range of activities on Woodstock Water Meadows including:

  • habitat management, including path clearance
  • maintenance/management of vegetation, ponds, water channels
  • measures to curb non-native species
  • flora and fauna monitoring
  • monitoring of water quality, pollution incidents and over-land flow issues

August 2015

River Glyme Restoration

This project, delivered by the Evenlode Catchment Partnership, of which the Wychwood Project is a key member,has restored more natural meanders and floodplain connectivity to the river downstream from Stratford Bridge. This area forms part of the Glyme and Dorn Valleys Conservation Target Area, but the river along this reach has suffered in the past from being straightened and over-dredged. Conservation Target Areas were selected with a view to highlighting the best opportunities for recreating priority habitat at a landscape scale in Oxfordshire.

  

The Environment Agency, Thames Water and local landowners supported this project. Vegetative surveys have been carried out by the Oxfordshire Flora group, and experts from Oxford University School of Geography and the Environment carried out a drone survey to develop a baseline of the river reach. Both surveys will be used to monitor the site before and after the restoration work. For images of the drone survey visitwww.facebook.com/wildoxfordshire