Upper Thames River Valleys
Upper Thames River Valleys
The tributaries of the River Thames, which weave their way through Oxfordshire, link countless sites and homes for wildlife.
You will find few things more evocative and romantic than a riverside meadow in spring, filled with the heady bubbling of curlews, tumbling lapwings and 'drumming' snipe.
Secretive otters and water-voles also find a home in the river valleys, dragonflies dart over the water and are found in nearby ditches and ponds. In spring some fields are filled with Oxfordshire’s iconic flower, the snake’s-head fritillary.
Our Upper Thames conservation is made possible by working with organisations, landowners and farmers to improve wetland sites, delivering more for wildlife and local communities.
We’re enhancing connections - making sure individual sites work together and act as stepping stones through the landscape.
Reserves and other protected areas are a key part of Futurescapes. They provide core areas for nature to thrive and eventually repopulate the surrounding landscapes. The RSPB reserve in this Futurescape is:
Otmoor is a magical reserve of wet meadows and reedbeds. It is a haven in winter for thousands of ducks, such as teals and wigeons. In spring and summer it is home to breeding wading birds, such as lapwings and redshanks.
We're working to safeguard and improve special places for nature. Each Futurescape contains a range of initiatives in addition to our reserves. The combination of these creates better conditions for wildlife across the countryside.
Supporting farmers conserving wetland wildlife along the upper reaches of the River Thames and its main tributaries. Monitoring breeding waders with assistance from the local communities.
Futurescapes is all about collaboration. There are many organisations and people involved in managing land in the Upper Thames River Valleys. Our challenge is working together to find ways of making more space for nature. To achieve this we’re working with:
- Aylesbury Vale District Council
- Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust
- Cherwell District Council
- The Environment Agency
- National Trust
- Natural England
- Oxford City Council: Shotover Country Park
- Oxford University Museum of Natural History
- Oxfordshire County Council: Lower Windrush Valley Project
- Wild Oxfordshire
- Freshwater Habitats
Saving special places
Victory for Harapan Rainforest
Beautiful Hutan Harapan forest is a precious remnant of the rainforest that once covered much of Sumatra (Photo: RSPB-images/Steve Roland) Hutan Harapan is one of the last remaining areas of dry lowland Sumatran forest and is among the most th...(r...Posted 12/04/2019 by Heather Mitchell
Rila Mountains: The Final Piece in Bulgaria's Protected Area Network for Birds
Daniel Pullan, our International Casework Manager writes: I was thrilled last week when my Bulgarian colleague Irina Mateeva told me that the Bulgarian Government had designated the last part of the Rila Mountains as a Special Protection Area. This a...Posted 04/04/2019 by Heather Mitchell
A net gain for nature
How can built development leave the natural environment in a better shape than it was before? This is the question at the heart of Defra’s recent consultation on ‘biodiversity net gain’. We know from the State of Nature 2016 report ...(read more)Posted 01/03/2019 by Simon Marsh
What will the new NPPF mean for places, people and nature?
On Tuesday the Government published a new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) for England. You can see our previous commentary on the draft version here , here and here . The NPPF sets out the Government’s planning policies for England...(read ...Posted 27/07/2018 by Steph