Saving Oxford’s Wetland Wildlife

Local Oxford charity Freshwater Habitats Trust is making the most of opportunities with the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme to save Oxford’s wetland wildlife

Freshwater Habitats Trust has launched a new three year project called Saving Oxfords Wetland Wildlife to help local people become directly involved in conserving the rare and varied freshwater wildlife found in and around Oxford’s wetlands.

The project is supported financially by Thames Water and the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE) with funding from Grundon Waste Management Ltd through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Project officer Francesca Dunn said “Oxford is a critical area for freshwater biodiversity and home to many rare plant and animal species such as Creeping Marshwort, a wetland plant which is found nowhere else in the country. Sadly, over the last 20 years many of Oxford’s key species have either declined significantly or have already been lost.

“Saving Oxfords Wetland Wildlife will create and manage ponds and wetlands at key sites across Oxford. We are also advising the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme on their wetland design. Creating new habitat will benefit Oxfords freshwater life, from larger animals such as Otters to smaller species like the rare Depressed River Mussel. Together we will help reverse species declines and restore the exceptional freshwater biodiversity of the Oxford area”.

As part of the project Freshwater Habitats Trust will be running a series of free public talks about Oxfords freshwater heritage and wildlife and hosting regular visits to some of the best sites in Oxford for freshwater wildlife. Starting in spring 2019 Oxford residents, including schools and community groups, can volunteer to help monitor wildlife and water quality across the city.

Emma Formoy, Project Director of the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme, said “Our vision for Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme is that it will, as well as protecting Oxford from flooding, make a substantial contribution to improving the environment to the west of the city, for people and wildlife. We have the opportunity and the ambition to improve the overall habitat for Oxford and we are delighted to be working with the Freshwater Habitats Trust on this project, which will help the Environment Agency to achieve this”.

Saving Oxfords Wetland Wildlife will be holding a free talk at South Hinksey Village Hall on 26th November 2018, 6:30pm: “The Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme: Maximising the benefits for people and freshwater wildlife” with speakers Jeremy Biggs of Freshwater Habitats Trust and Penny Burt from the Environment agency.

For more information please visit the project page or email Fran Dunn.

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