Volunteers needed for Grandpont Nature Reserve improvement day as city aims to create waterways corridors of nature
Nature-loving volunteers are needed to lend a hand at the Grandpont Nature Park helping to improve the park and begin creating “corridors of nature” alongside the city’s waterways.
Making improvements to areas alongside the city’s waterways – particularly the River Thames and Oxford Canal – the aim is to link up areas of habitat and boost biodiversity, making a contribution to combatting the impact of climate change.
The first volunteer day is on Saturday 12 October from 10am to 2pm. Volunteers can come and help tackle overgrown vegetation, sow wildflower seed, build bird and bat boxes and create an insect “mansion”. Fully supervised and supported, the day promises healthy exercise and fun activities for all ages. Meet at the main entrance on Whitehouse Road (OX1 4QJ).
Grandpont Nature Park is a site of rolling grassland and wildflower meadows overlooking the River Thames, with wooded areas and tree-lined walks. It provides rich habitat for a wide range of plants, trees and wildlife, close to the heart of the city.
It is the first site to be improved part of a new initiative to create “corridors of nature”, led by Oxford Direct Service’s Countryside Service, together with the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust.
In coming weeks there will be further volunteer days, focusing on sites alongside the waterways, including:
- Opening up new areas alongside the river to allow for wildflower seeds to be sown, building on recent volunteer-led success
- Planting bulbs and native shrubs on the Oxford Canal
- Installing new bird and bat boxes, hedgehog and toad houses and building insect “mansions”
- Developing new nature and tree trails
- New “citizen science” water-testing and education events
“Oxford’s waterways are valuable places for nature and wildlife, providing important habitats and boosting biodiversity.
“We want to further improve these areas, using the waterways flowing throughout the city to join up areas of natural habitat, creating corridors of nature alongside the river, canal and streams.
“It will take time and the support of volunteers to help us achieve this, but we can make a difference to the city and help combat the climate emergency.”
Councillor Tom Hayes, Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford
“Through our Wild Oxford project we are working with Oxford Direct Services and the wider city council to improve access to nature for those in the city.
“We need a more resilient network of wildlife habitats, linking up those important spaces where nature can flourish. Using the waterways is a great way that we can do this, creating corridors of nature.”
Andy Gunn, Community Wildlife Manager and coordinator of the Wild Oxford project, Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
“Oxford Direct Services works to protect and enhance the city’s green and open spaces. We work hard to make these accessible and enjoyable for all, while also ensuring plants, trees and wildlife can succeed.
“Our friendly trained staff will be working on site, looking forward to welcoming as many people who can come and help.”
Julian Cooper, Countryside Ranger, Oxford Direct Services