A NEW conservation group started their work yesterday with a slash-and-burn approach.

The volunteers met for the first time at Cothill Fen, a Site of Special Scientific Interest near Abingdon.

Led by Leo Jennings of Natural England, the team cut back trees and scrub around the edge of the protected fen wetland and threw them onto a bonfire.

The work will stop tall plants from overtaking the wetland habitat.

Among the team members for the first outing was Oxford ecologist Judy Webb, chairman of the Friends of Lye Valley.

Mr Jennings is hoping the group will meet on the first Friday of each month from now on.