How do we get back our farmland birds, our butterflies, wildflowers, and tadpoles, and our pollinators for food production? Well, it turns out that people in Eynsham Parish are brimming with biodiversity ideas and have places where they want to put them into practice. As part of Green TEA’s Green Festival last month, Long Mead put up a satellite map of the parish, showing the fields and hedgerows, the woods and rivers and streams, as well as back gardens and workplaces. People put green stickers on the map for their favourite wildlife places and pink stickers with recommendations for places where wildlife might be brought back.
One resident of Freeland proposed to transform her half-acre garden into a wildflower meadow. Someone else proposed planting 10 Eynsham apple trees. An allotment holder in Cassington suggested that fruit trees should be planted to take up the many empty plots. Someone else suggested trees for the Eynsham car park. Many people urged for the verges to be cut only once a year (where vision splays are not needed) to protect the wildflowers. Someone asked for wildflowers in the cemetery. Proposals were many and varied but all offered simple and immediate steps that would significantly increase biodiversity in the parish.
Indeed, the response was so great that the map will be hung in the Market Garden’s new Café until the end of December, so that more people can contribute their ideas and proposals. In January, Eynsham Green TEA, the Eynsham Society and Long Mead Local Wildlife Site are co-hosting a workshop to discuss the results and to talk about sources of funding and support to realise Eynsham’s great, collective, nature recovery project. We will be offering free trees and seeds, guidance for creating backgarden wildflower areas, ponds and hedges, as well as ongoing workshops for sharing progress and monitoring the return of our butterflies, bees, birds and best-loved wildlife.
Last May, the UN came up with a dire warning about the state of nature on our planet, urging that without ‘transformative change’, the precipitous decline in biodiversity will have a catastrophic effect on our lives and economies. With only 4% of Oxfordshire retaining any special value for wildlife, Eynsham can lead the way in reversing the trend - and do its bit for climate change into the bargain!
Head down to the Wholesome Earth Cafe to try out their new soups, salads and pies and put your nature recovery thoughts on the map. Then come to the workshop in January - for further information email Long Mead.
Results, Implementation and Funding Strategies Workshop - January 15th at 7.30 -9.30 (Village Hall - small hall)