Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Clean Water for Wildlife in the Lower Windrush Valley

What is Clean Water for Wildlife?
Clean Water for Wildlife is a nationwide survey set up by Freshwater Habitats Trust that aims to find wildlife rich, clean water habitats and increase understanding of the extent of nutrient pollution in freshwater habitats – streams, rivers, lakes, ponds and ditches.

Volunteers are provided with a kit that allows them to easily 'see' nutrient pollution in water. They measure the levels of nitrate and phosphate, pollutants that pose a major risk to wildlife, and will uncover the best and most unpolluted local freshwaters.

The kits are simple and quick to use making them an ideal opportunity to engage volunteers from the local community.

How have the Lower Windrush Valley Project been taking part?
During March and April, 18 volunteers went out and tested the Phosphate and Nitrate in over 70 ponds, lakes, streams and ditches across the Lower Windrush Valley. A further 7 sites were tested as part of visits with Stanton Harcourt Primary School and 1st Standlake Brownies.
A group from 1st Standlake Brownies testing the water at Tar Lakes
Demonstrating the use of the kit to children from Stanton Harcourt Primary School

Many of our volunteers took their children or grandchildren with them to complete the survey - a great opportunity to get children thinking about water quality and their local water bodies.

The results...

We'll be providing a summary of all of the data our volunteers have collected so watch this space...

Monday, 18 April 2016

The sunshine was out for Fritillary Sunday in Ducklington

On one Sunday each year Ducklington Fritillary field is opened to members of the public in order to raise funds for the village church and give residents and visitors an opportunity to walk among these beautiful flowers.
The Snake's head Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris) were once widespread on floodplain meadows but are now found at less than 30 sites in the UK. The site in Ducklington is around 7 hectares and a designated SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).
On April 17th, hundreds of people took the opportunity to visit the field as well as joining in with the other activities on offer throughout the day, including Morris Dancing, children's activities and tours of the church bell tower.
There was also an opportunity to learn more about what makes this site and species so special - Edmund Strainge of Ducklington Parish Council and Emma Rothero of Floodplain Meadows Partnership talked to visitors about the history of the site and the Snake's head Fritillary.