VOLUNTEERS gave up a chunk of their Sunday to give the Lye Valley Fen in Headington some much-needed TLC.

The marsh-like nature reserve near the Churchill Hospital is one of the best examples in the UK of a calcareous valley fen, as its chalky ground layout make it a very rare habitat.

Friends of Lye Valley members regularly visit the site to help maintain it.

Volunteer Marjorie Sachs said: “It’s quite precious. It’s quite worrying that people want to put in developments that will affect it.”

An application made in 2013, and which is still awaiting a final decision, would see 10 new homes built in nearby Warren Crescent.

On Saturday, Friends chairwoman Dr Judy Webb will lead a walk along the valley to show people how early botanists collected flowers.

Booking is recommended for the two-mile route – go to the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust website at bbowt.org.uk/events