Oxhill News

www.oxhill.com / www.oxhill.org.uk

South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

November 2013

This months News

Contents

 

OWLS (Oxhill WildLife Society)

Achievements to date

Grenville Moore initiated OWLS in 2009 as a part of the LBAP (Local Biodiversity Action Plan) scheme, the aim being to increase awareness of local wildlife and improve and extend habitats for wild flowers, insects, amphibians and small mammals where possible. A meeting was held with the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust to find out the best way to set up the group so that it would be able to access grants for raising funds. OWLS then sent out a survey to all Oxhill residents to determine what habitats e.g. ponds, copses etc were already in the parish and a website was set up www.oxhill-owls.org.uk to record the groupís activities.

Over the past four years, the group have arranged several talks including topics about butterflies, wildlife gardening, photography, swifts, the environmental stewardship scheme and Ryton organic garden. A talk on bats involved an evening walk around the village with a bat detector which identified several different bat species. The talk on swifts was instigated after a juvenile swift was rescued from the ground in the churchyard and, as swifts annually nest in a space under the eaves in the church roof, this has led the group to raise funds to install swift boxes when the roof is replaced.

For three years, a wildlife photographic competition was run leading to production of calendars and notelets using the winning pictures. Sale of these helped to raise funds for biodiversity projects among which were the manufacture of kestrel, little owl, tawny owl and barn owl boxes. Two additional barn owl boxes were purchased and these have all been erected around Oxhill. Other funds have come from very generous donations.

The PCC agreed to let OWLS section off an area behind the church to develop a wild flower zone and a survey of all the plants there was carried out. Over 50 species were recorded, many of which were also found in a survey carried out in 1989. This year the area has been extended and it will be divided into three sections which will be managed with different cutting regimes to investigate the effect this has on the plant species.

With collaboration from the highways authority, several of the verges in Oxhill are no longer cut by the departmentís contractors but are managed for wildflowers. To further this, OWLS provided seeds for a wildflower competition this year and it has been delightful to see patches of flowers replacing low cut grass verges. This is now an on-going project and seeing the number of bees, butterflies and other wildlife around these areas makes it well worth while.

The group has links with other organisations such as the WOT to GROW community orchard in Tysoe and has also contributed to surveys at the natural burial ground, the nationwide PlantLife survey and the Big Butterfly Count.

This site is maintained by villagers of Oxhill for the benefit of the community and those interested in the history, news and activities that make the village such a pleasant place to live.

Send mail to the editor of the Oxhill News at news-editor @ oxhill.org.uk.

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Last modified: October 31, 2013