A WILDLIFE trust has been given £207,488 to help maintain one of its largest nature reser-ves.

The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) will use the money to look after the 320-acre Chimney Meadows near Bampton in West Oxfordshire.

The meadows are filled with birds such as kestrels and owls, rare plants, otters and other wildlife.

It has been given the money by the Biodiversity Action Fund administered by WREN – a not-for-profit business giving grants generated by landfill tax.

Neil Clennell, the trust’s head of conservation and education for Oxfordshire, said: “From January next year, we will be restoring traditional ditch systems to help manage the water on site, and expand our herd of Dexter cattle that help to maintain this rare and beautiful habitat.

“Our enthusiastic volunteers will have more training and new equipment to help them put up fencing and install pasture pumps.”

It will also pay for specialist surveyors to write a report covering the 10 years of restoration work at the meadows, assessing the wildlife benefits and help the trust plan for the future.

Last year, the trust raised £100,000 to buy an 11-hectare site to the north-east of Chimney Meadows and earlier this year it was designated as a ‘coronation’ meadow by Prince Charles as part of a scheme to help save threatened wildflower meadows.

This area will be used to collect seeds and green hay to create new meadows around Oxfordshire.

Lisa Lane, upper Thames living landscape manager for BBOWT, said: “These grasslands are of national and international importance. Floodplain meadow doesn’t occur in many places and we want to keep them in the best possible condition.”


The meadows sustain a range of wildlife, which includes:

  • Badger
  • Barn owl
  • Brown Hare
  • Buzzard
  • Chiffchaff
  • Club-tailed dragonfly
  • Curlew
  • Greenfinch
  • Goldfinch
  • Kestrel
  • Lapwing
  • Linnet
  • Little Owl
  • Meadow Pipit
  • Mute Swan
  • Otter
  • Sedge Warbler
  • Short-eared Owl
  • Skylark
  • Snipe
  • Reed Bunting
  • Reed Warbler
  • Redwing
  • Whitethroat
  • Willow Warbler
  • Yellowhammer