Friday, 21 December 2018

2018 Highlights

2018 has been a busy year.. here are some of the highlights

Nature Conservation and Land Management
Annual maintenance at Standlake Common and Rushy Common Nature Reserves including reed clearance, coppicing, mowing, fence repairs and hedge cutting.
Two new Barn Owl nest boxes installed at Standlake Common, supported by Linear Fisheries and SSEN.
Fish and Amphibian eDNA survey carried out at Rushy Common.
The Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) Report
Analysis of WeBS data for the five years up to 2016 shows that numbers of wintering Gadwall and Shoveler in the Lower Windrush Valley exceed the agreed 1% threshold for a site of national importance.  Coot are approaching the 1% threshold.
Gadwall at Standlake Common

Yellow Fish Scheme
We worked with the Environment Agency to roll out the Yellow Fish Scheme in Witney. The scheme raises awareness of pollution pathways to our rivers and yellow fish stickers are placed by drains to remind people that anything put down these drains can impact local streams and rivers.
Between March and July:
  • 58 stickers attached to drains in Witney
  • 50 businesses visited and given information
  • School visit with Henry Box
Yellow Fish sticker with the message 'Only rain down the drain'

Access to the Countryside
Windrush Path Improvement Project
Thanks to funding from TOE, Grundon Waste Management, Newland Angling Club, Standlake Parish Council and the Standlake Mosaic Trail a section of footpath near Standlake was resurfaced in November improving access for those walking the Windrush Path or accessing the bird hides at Standlake Common.
An updated interpretation panel with be installed in the new year.

Community Engagement
Friends of the Lower Windrush Valley
The Friends group was launched in early 2018 and has gone from strength to strength with now over 20 regular volunteers.
Volunteers take part in a variety of activities to support the running of the Lower Windrush Valley Project and management of our reserves.
Over 500 hours volunteered
Friends of the Lower Windrush Valley activities in 2018
  • Big Garden Birdwatch at Rushy Common
  • Guided walks and talks
  • Standlake Brownies visit to Tar Lakes
  • Ducklington Annual Parish Meeting
  • Wetland Wildlife Family Day
  • Gill Mill Quarry Tours x 3
  • Wychwood Forest Fair
  • Annual Forum
Quarry Tour at Gill Mill

Partnerships and communications
We welcomed corporate supporters Oxford Pharmagenesis in May 2018
We are updating and re-printing several of our leaflets that provide information on nature reserves, public access sites and footpaths.
We continue to use our blog, Facebook and mailing list to share news and opportunities

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