Chimney meadows arable reversion, Oxfordshire
Nearest town or settlement: Bampton
Contact detailsContact name: Lisa Lane
Organisation: Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01373 465218
Chimney Meadows is Berks, Bucks and Oxfordshire's largest reserve and includes a 50ha National Nature Reserve (NNR) and Natural England-owned Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). A 200ha extension of arable land bought by the Trust began restoration to species-rich grassland in 2003. The project aimed to: *expand and enhance the extent of species rich grassland to benefit local biodiversity on the Thames Floodplain *quantitatively monitor the effects of re-seeding management upon biodiversity within the arable reversion fields and how fast they are progressing towards the target complement at the NNR.
The fields were prepared during 2004, and green hay cut from the NNR and SSSI was broadcast on them (chopped and spread). In spring 2005 the fields were topped and subsequent monitoring showed that neutral MG5 grassland had established. Rigorous monitoring has been undertaken since, providing valuable evidence that the methods used have been effective.
A volunteer workforce has been vital to help with the project, while Oxford University Museum and Reading University have provided specialist equipment and entomologists to voluntarily analyse invertebrate samples.
Scientific papers have been published. Details can be provided.