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The Earth Trust Riverside Field

Meadow description

Earth Trust is an environmental learning charity which provides access and opportunities for people to discover, appreciate and respect nature via the landscape they are guardian to. Earth Trust owns 1200 acres of farmland, woodland and wetland on the bank of the Thames in Oxfordshire and are the most highly visited free to access greenspace in the South East, with over 150,000 visits per annum.

We visited their floodplain meadow restoration sites in 2016 to find out what they had been up to, and then again in 2017 to collect botanical and soils data. The result of the 2016 visit was that we agreed to fund the re-sowing of seed into Riverside Meadow in Wallingford, Oxon.

Riverside Meadow had been a species rich meadow restoration project in 2012. At that time, an area of the field was sprayed, disc harrowed and sown with commercial seed. However this subsequently flooded, washing the newly planted seeds away and there was no evidence of success by 2016, when the Partnership first visited. The site has been grazed subsequently and in 2017 no hay cut was taken, the site was managed by summer grazing only from April through to September/October. This is not the best management for a species rich hay meadow.

The Partnership agreed to fund the purchase of more seed (£2500), but only on the condition that an annual hay cut was re-instated, with aftermath grazing if possible. This has taken some time to negotiate for the Earth Trust due to restrictions and complications with the grazier (who is managed/contracted by the Local Authority). However, now (2018) the grazier is able to take a hay cut in the future, and so Earth Trust are now going to spread commercial seed with a bespoke mix on the field, after appropriate ground preparation, in July 2018.

To dwonload a pdf version of this summary, click here.

* Conservation designations are as follows:
SSSI: Site of Special Scientific Interest
NNR: National Nature Reserve
SAC: Special Area of Conservation
RAM: Ramsar Site
SPA: Special Protection Area
WT: Local Wildlife Trust Reserve
NT: National Trust Reserve
VCO: Other Voluntary Conservation Organisation Reserve
CL: Registered Common Land
NS: Non-statutory site

Meadow location

OS Grid RefSU610891

Meadow data

Meadow ownerThe Earth Trust
Catchment areaThames
Size (hectares)unknown
Conservation designation*unassigned

Information held in the meadows database

Hydrological monitoringno
Hydrological modellingno