Oxford and the Thames: a national hotspot for freshwater wildlife

Oxford and the Thames: a national hotspot for freshwater wildlife

A talk by Jeremy Biggs at South Hinksey Village Hall, OX1 5AS at 2 pm on Wednesday 29 June 2016

In this talk we’ll look at what makes the Oxford area so special for freshwater wildlife, what problems freshwaters in the area face and what the solutions are. We’ll look at what the impact of the new Oxford flood relief channel could be and how it could help reverse the century-long decline in the area’s freshwaters.

Ponds, lakes, rivers and wetlands around Oxford still support an extraordinary variety of freshwater plants and animals. But the area is on a knife edge and many of the regions once clean, sparkling and unpolluted waters have become damaged and degraded sothat nationally endangered freshwater and wetland species are still declining and disappearing from the area.

Variable Damselfly

The Variable Damselfly is found scattered in the ‘old fen’ areas of England, and occurs close to Abingdon in a backwater of the Thames. The animal is usually found in still or slow flowing water, with lots of water plants and where water quality is good. Photo: Paul Ritchie, www.hampshiredragonflies.org.uk

But there is hope: we have an exceptional range of people, projects and skills in the area which are helping at least to slow, and maybe turn, the super-tanker that is the long-term decline and loss of freshwater wildlife. And work to alleviate flooding in Oxford, particularly the new flood channel, could help protect the freshwater wildlife of this nationally significant area – and become a test bed for demonstrating new ways of integrating flood defence and the protection of freshwater biodiversity.

The talk is free for anyone to attend but space is limited so to book your seat please drop an email to info@freshwaterhabitats.org.uk to ensure there is a space available. 

If you would like to put up a poster to this event you can download one here – Oxford and the Thames_talk poster_Jun16

River Thames floodplain

The Oxford floodplain, west of the city, in wet weather in January 2016.

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