CORONAVIRUS is here and we're forced into something like hibernation - with just one walk a day, if we dare.

But spring has sprung - and much of the beauty on display in our public parks and gardens is the result of the hard work of hundred of people's work - many of them volunteers.

They include the Wild Banbury volunteers who, before this started, spent their free time working on a new ‘wilder’ woodland walk in the town’s large Spiceball Park.

Tara Higgs, of the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust met the volunteers...

The Wild Banbury Project aims to inspire people to discover Banbury’s wild spaces, connect with nature and get involved with the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust’s (BBOWT) habitat work.

BBOWT works in partnership with Banbury town council who has supplied bulbs for planting, while The Woodland Trust have provided trees and hedgerow saplings.

Our work has primarily focused on two sites in Banbury. Spiceball Park – the largest green space within the town – and the Hanwell Brook Wetland, on the town’s northern edge.

Our dedicated volunteers have been creating a new place for people to explore, discover nature and get off the beaten path.

Planting sessions have enhanced this area for wildlife.

The selection of woodland bulbs will add a much needed understory offering a rich food source for bees, butterflies, birds and bats. Once established the carpet of colourful bulbs will entice people out and help them to connect with nature as they marvel at the colours, scents and fluttering wildlife.

A further planting session is planned to create a nature rich hedgerow along the edge of the grassland to the south east of Spiceball Park to provide a habitat for the urban wildlife and enhance the area with native species.

It will help to mitigate the traffic noise, after this crisis, from the nearby road and bring a feeling of calm and peace to the area for the local people to come and relax. Hedgerows provide vital homes for our wildlife, with more than 2,000 species living in just one hedge.

They provide shelter, food and wildlife corridors for our wildlife to travel across our increasingly urban landscapes.

Hedgehogs have suffered from the loss of hedgerows in gardens as they used them to travel through our neighbourhoods. Now, they are met with un-scalable fences.

The Wild Banbury team will eventually be planting some native trees in the east tree belt where the new path was taking shape and in the north west corner of the park to enhance this small woodland by the car park and replace lost trees.

The project will also be expanding to adopt other urban green spaces within Banbury.

We were excited to have started work on a section on the old mineral railway. This raised embankment is a hidden and delightful wildlife corridor that used to be a railway line transporting ironstone from quarries in Wroxton.

We hope to discover more about this site in the coming year and restore the open grass areas.

This part of the mineral railway is the ideal place to look for a range of butterflies, day moths and urban foxes.

If you want to find out what conservation volunteering is all about, meet like-minded people and enjoy the benefits of a day working outdoors, in a few months once this crisis is over, email or visit