Piddington Wood habitat restoration

Very little is left of Oxfordshire`s woodland, and what remains is mainly fragmented and surrounded by intensively farmed land. Woodland plants and animals are struggling to survive in these small isolated woods.

Restore helped fund the doubling of the size of Piddington Wood a remnant of the ancient hunting forest of Bernwood by buying another 21 acres of adjoining woodland and fields. This has helped buffer and protect the ancient wood from the effects of neighbouring intensive agriculture. The whole site is now being managed primarily for the benefit of butterflies, especially the brown hairstreak which is now very rare.

Maintaining forest edge habitats for the butterflies is attracting further species and there is growing interest in the bats that are being attracted to the site, with Local volunteers now erecting and monitoring bat boxes.

Wittenham Wetlands Project

The Northmoor Trust has monitored amphibian populations for over twenty years and has a unique body of knowledge. The project will look to create a landscape exceptionally rich in amphibians and other wetland species.

It will be based around an extremely important existing site for herptiles and odonata- the Wittenham Clumps SAC and SSSI. Existing wetland habitat will be restored and enhanced and will diversify by creating new wetland habitat including ponds wet woodland and wetland scrapes in the immediately surrounding area. Over a wider landscape it will look to create new populations of amphibian species by appropriate habitat management.

The project will directly benefit two UK BAP priority habitats, ponds and wet woodland and two species, the Great Crested Newt and the Common Toad. It will indirectly benefit three priority species of bats including Noctule and Brown long-eared, five birds including Linnet and Reed Bunting and a number of invertebrates.

The project is located within one of a suite of priority areas identified by the Oxfordshire Nature Conservancy Forum ( ONCF ) for biodiversity work at a landscape scale and will therefore form part of a wider vision to create a network of biodiversity hotspots along the Thames Valley.

Sinodun Hills Landscape Biodiversity Project

The Sinodun Hills Project uses a landscape approach to conservation, by taking an existing site of high conservation value, the Wittenham Clumps, north east of Didcot, and extending semi-natural habitats outwards from it into the surrounding working landscape.

The project will restore and recreate 37 hectares of wildlife-rich lowland meadow.This will be achieved through grazing with native hardy breeds of cattle and sheep,implementing suitable hay-cutting regimes, turf removal and reseeding, broadcasting wildflower seed, green hay spreading and plug planting.

By creating this area of species rich neutral grassland, this project will make a direct and appreciable contribution to the recovery of this priority habitat. It will also guarantee benefits to BAP priority species present on site,such as the skylark, pipistrelle bat and hornet robber fly.

Restore Our Planet has provided Third Party Funding to ensure this project is able to proceed.

Paradise Wood

The Earth Trust aims to promote and inspire wildlife and countryside conservation in Oxfordshire and beyond.Their key project objectives are to: develop and build on the national leadership in walnut and oak species, develop their research and forestry demonstration functions, to demonstrate the national biodiversity benefits of managing broadleaved plantations for timber production; promote the importance of the forestry industry within a sustainable countryside.

To this end they purchased 55 hectares of land at College Farm in order to establish a new woodland and centre for forestry research called Paradise Wood. The wood is situated on a flat former Floodplain in Oxfordshire. The first trees were planted in the winter of 1992 and by the end of 2000 42,000 trees had been planted across 21ha the completed woodland will cover 45-50 hectares and will comprise 75% broadleaves, 10% conifers, 5% coppice and 10% open ground.In 2001 Restore provided a specialist tractor to help manage Paradise Wood and funding to produce publicity material for the project.

Restore funded the purchase of a new Holland TC27D Tractor which has significantly aided the work of the Earth Trust across its 300 hectare estate. It’s compact size and maneuverability enables a range of important tasks to be carried out from the transport of livestock using a trailer or link box through to the important task of mowing between trees in the Trust’s research wood and newly planted Trafalgar Wood site.

Tree planting at Longworth, Oxfordshire

Longworth residents, with the co-operation of Longworth Parish Council, are proposing to plant a mixture of native trees and large shrubs on land adjoining Longworth Manor.

The objectives are to provide a small amenity woodland for the benefit of the public and local schoolchildren, encouraging them to appreciate the local flora and fauna whilst at the same time increasing biodiversity through the enhancement of the local environment.

A comprehensive list of tree species will be planted including Alder, Silver Birch Beech, Ash and Wild Cherry. The mix is designed to contain species which will provide a visually attractive, wildlife friendly environment.

Restore has provided the funding to purchase the seedlings.