WOODLANDS AND TREE PLANTING
Tree Planting Projects
WCAG are running projects to plant trees, for example, our collaboration with Babylon Nurseries to supply trees to gardens. Although this initiative is now finished you can still plant trees in your own garden to make a difference! Try to choose native species or species with flowers for pollinators and fruit for birds. For suggestions on what species to plant see here.
The WCAG is also hoping to plant trees as part of the Queens Green Canopy - please let us know if you are aware of any land where tree planting could take place and our volunteers will help organise and carry it out!
Tree foster care project
Do young trees ever come up in your garden? Perhaps you put them in the garden waste bin, as you probably don’t want them in your flower beds. But these young saplings could grow to become precious trees and shrubs providing valuable homes for wildlife. We are looking for tree donors to donate unwanted native saplings and tree foster carers to look after them until they are ready to plant out in the parish. We are keen to hear from anyone interested in coordinating this project - more details here.
We are working with St Leonard’s Church to create a tree trail in the churchyard; more information to follow.
See our information board about trees and woodlands - here to create a tree trail in the churchyard; more information to follow.
See our information board about trees and woodlands here.
Marlbrook Meadow is our flagship project, where local people work with the Parish Council to allow an area of Marlbrook green to grow in the spring and summer months. This has become a valuable wildlife habitat and a pleasant area for residents to get closer to nature. Orchids have appeared as well as a range of other wildflowers.
Other grassland sites - If allowed to grow over the summer months, many grassland sites reveal a range of wildflowers and grasses, which in turn attract pollinators including butterflies and bees. We encourage participation in No Mow May (and June). You never know what surprises may be in store; bee orchids appeared on Stonor Green in 2022.
See our blog for more information - Here.
Road verges - Many of Oxfordshire’s road verges support an impressive array of wildflowers, which struggle to grow in intensively farmed landscapes. If verges are not cut until after the summer, plants can flower and set seed. We are aiming to get local road verges managed better for biodiversity.
See our information board about Meadows & Verges - Here.
Watlington Hill is an instantly recognisable feature of the Chiltern countryside with its patchwork of grassland and scrub and the distinctive white mark. The site is managed by the National Trust with support from local volunteers; for more information about how to get involved see - Here.
See our information board about Chalk Grassland - Here.
PONDS & STREAMS
The Chalgrove Brook
Watlington is built on chalk-fed springs which combine to form the Chalgrove Brook, otherwise known as the Marlbrook. The brook leaves the town along the Cuxham Road and flows to the River Thame at Chiselhampton. Watlington Environment Group (WEG) have run a Watercourses Project for several years, finding out more about the Chalgrove Brook and doing practical projects to improve water quality and support biodiversity. To get involved with improving our special chalk stream, contact WEG on the link below.
For more information on the chalk stream, watch the film The Chalgrove Brook
Adding a pond to your garden is one of the best things you can do for wildlife! Whether you only have space for a “micro” pond or for something more extensive, we have blogs to help you through the process. Pond Blogs
See our information board about ponds:
Information - here
Blog - here
The Watlington Hedgerow Project
With the help of local hedgerow expert Nigel Adams, our amazing team of volunteers has surveyed the hedges in Watlington Parish using the P.T.E.S. (People's Trust for Endangered Species) guidelines. This gives us a picture of the condition of our hedgerows so we can put together a plan to improve the health and diversity of existing hedgerows and to plant new ones. With support and advice from Wild Oxfordshire’s Community Ecologist Roselle Chapman and funding from CPRE, we’ve planted and renewed hedges in West Meadow and there is more to come!
Films about our Hedgerow projects:
We’ve also created a range of “how to” videos to help with training volunteers and sharing knowledge:
How to Survey A Hedge - Here
How to Plant A Hedge - Here
How to Lay A Hedge - Here
See our information board about hedges: Link
HOUSING AND DEVELOPMENT
Our Position Statement on biodiversity and development outlines how developers can work with the Parish to protect natural habitats. See Link.
We believe early engagement with developers is important in building positive relationships.
We seek to arrange site visits to ensure developers are delivering against their biodiversity commitments.
We aim to work with Watlington Parish Council, the Neighbourhood Plan Advisory Board (NPAB), local landowners and developers.
We plan to support the creation of a community orchard on Site B.
Please get in touch with us at email@example.com if you are interested in supporting this work.
The UK’s millions of gardens cover a greater area than all the nature reserves, providing sanctuary for many species. Gardening for wildlife doesn’t mean letting a garden become an untidy jungle; find out what can be done to support and encourage wildlife and then choose what would be best for your garden and circumstances. Here you can find ideas about what to do on land you have some control over, be it a window box, a garden or an allotment.
Find out about some of the resources we have developed to share information and inspire people to engage with the extraordinary habitats around us!
See the Green Plan Art Trail Click here.
“Wild Watlington”, a story inspired by this event and containing information on our local habitats and wildlife, with watercolours by a young local artist, please click here
There’s lots of information on our blog pages to explore Click here
We send out a monthly newsletter - read our archive here or sign up here
We run a regular programme of events.
For Watlington Climate Action Group events please see here
For Watlington Environment Group events please see here
For more information on the Green Plan project as a whole, please see our event videos.
Our kick-off meeting, with presentations on each of the unique habitats around Watlington - Here.
Our update meeting, with information on the progress. - Here.