Saving Oxford’s Wetland Wildlife

Saving Oxford’s Wetland Wildlife is involving local groups and communities with conserving Oxford’s rare and varied freshwater wildlife.

We need your help! Get involved with our Oxford City WaterBlitz survey here!

The Oxford area is a national hotspot for freshwater biodiversity, ranking in importance alongside famous areas such as the Norfolk Broads, the Lake District and the New Forest. However, much of Oxford’s wetland wildlife has declined significantly or disappeared entirely over the past 20 years, due to threats such as pollution, drainage and scrub encroachment. This project is working with schools, community groups and individuals across Oxford to:

Raise awareness of Oxford’s water environment

We are running a series of free public talks about Oxford’s freshwater heritage and wildlife, some of which feature specialist guest speakers, and others given by our Project Officer Ellie Mayhew, providing updates on the project. We’re also hosting regular site visits and guided walks to some of Oxford’s most valuable wetland sites. Take a look at our ‘Get Involved‘ page to find out about upcoming events.

Monitor wildlife and water quality

Since spring 2019, Oxford residents have been helping us to undertake baseline monitoring that will help to underpin the long-term monitoring of the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme, through environmental DNA surveys and water quality testing. We still need people to help out with our Oxford City WaterBlitz – head here to find out how to get involved and request your free water quality test kits.

Help conserve freshwater species and habitats

Unique and pioneering work by local ecologists has shown it is possible to reverse declines in freshwater biodiversity through habitat creation and suitable management of fens, ponds and wetlands. This is helping to save plant and animal species that are threatened nationally, and are at risk of local extinction in Oxford and the Thames Valley.

Saving Oxford’s Wetland Wildlife is applying these successful techniques at a number of key sites in and around Oxford to help protect and restore the exceptional freshwater biodiversity of the Oxford area. We’ve been undertaking practical management work with the help of volunteers at wetland sites (read more here), and have been working collaboratively with local expert Judy Webb, Oxford Botanic Garden and local community groups to undertake ex-situ conservation of some of the area’s rare wetland plants. 

Find out more…

Saving Oxford’s Wetland Wildlife is funded by Thames Water, Heritage Lottery Fund and the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE) with funding from Grundon Waste Management, with additional generous support from the Hyne Trust, R G Hills Charitable Trust and the Martin Wills Wildlife Maintenance Trust.