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Conservationists hope to buy riverside meadow for £100,000
TIME is ticking on Oxfordshire’s wildlife trust as it hopes to buy a £100,000 riverside meadow.
Conservationists at the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) have launched a public appeal to purchase Upper Common, near Bampton, in West Oxfordshire.
The land has become available following the death of the landowner and his executors have given the Wildlife Trust six weeks to raise the cash before the land is put on the open market.
Upper Common is an 11-hectare site that is located to the north-east of the trust’s Chimney Meadows nature reserve.
Chimney Meadows is home to water voles – one of England’s most threatened species – but it also is a haven for butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies.
Wading birds also use the area, which was bought by BBOWT in 2003, as a refuge.
Neil Clennell, head of conservation and education at the trust, said: “With the right management we could transform Upper Common into a colourful meadow, teaming with life once again.
“Using green hay cut from the nature reserve we can spread wildflower seed onto prepared ground where species like knapweed, fairy flax and delicate quaking grass can flourish.
“With greater control over the water levels it will be possible to keep areas of the reserve wetter for longer, creating new wetland habitats for threatened wading birds such as curlew and snipe.
“There are already signs of water voles and otters on Upper Common and with a bit of work we could provide safer habitat, helping these much-loved creatures to survive.
“Opportunities to buy land like this are exceedingly rare. If someone else purchases this land, the vital restoration work needed on the meadow and waterways is unlikely to happen.”
BBOWT currently owns 80 nature reserves across the three counties, making up 1,700 hectares of land.
The trust is accepting donations from the public.
- To donate, click on the related link above or call the supporters’ office on 01865 788300.