Archive for the ‘Woodland Volunteers’ category

Witney’s Bee World

May 25th, 2014

Last June, we held a successful Bee Cause Campaign meeting jointly with Friends of the Earth. Now, a site at Deer Park in Witney has been designated as one of FoE’s national “Bee Worlds“.

The site is managed by Witney Woodland Volunteers, and many local volunteers have since been busy preparing the ground for sowing the special bee-friendly wildflower seed, sent courtesy of FoE, along with a plaque to install at the site to mark its importance to the campaign to save our bees. I’ve also written to David Cameron, informing him of what is happening and inviting him to come and see for himself. His Diary Secretary is working on the possibility of a visit.

On the wider scale, following pressure from FoE and others, the Government has developed a National Pollinator Strategy. It remains to be seen whether this will counteract the loss of habitat, use of pesticides, monocultures, pests and diseases and climate change with which bees have to contend. In the UK we have over 250 different species of bee and we want them all to survive and flourish.

Community Woodland in Witney

April 28th, 2013

WoodDuring Riki Therivel’s recent fascinating talk to Sustainable Witney on the subject of the Oxfordshire Woodfuel Programme (of which she is Manager) the subject of community woodlands was mentioned. Riki is keen to see such woodlands set up in a sustainable way wherever possible. Here in Witney we are one step ahead! We already have a community woodland, located between Deer Park Road and Range Road on the west side of the town. It’s managed by Witney Woodland Volunteers – a group of enthusiastic local people who regularly work at the site to increase its biodiversity and its value as a peaceful haven open to everyone. WWV have a long-term legal agreement with West Oxfordshire District Council to manage the site (formerly a fly-tipped buffer zone between the industrial and the housing estate) and since 2010 have been busy planting:

  • hundreds of trees and lots of new native hedgerows
  • an orchard of Oxfordshire heritage fruit trees
  • a hazel copse
  • wildflower meadows and butterfly banks
  • a shallow scrape to support aquatic species

If you fancy getting involved, check out the website at where you’ll see photos of what’s happening at the new woodland plus on Facebook at

I’ve been involved with the group since its inception and can recommend the benefits (fresh air, exercise, fun, plus a sense of achievement). We go out on Monday mornings at 10 a.m. to work either at Deer Park Wood, as it’s known, or on projects elsewhere in Witney to improve the town’s natural environment. Why not come and join us?

Wychwood Forest Fair

September 2nd, 2010

This year’s Forest Fair is taking place on the edge of Witney this Sunday 5th September, 11:00am until 5:00pm, Southdown Farm, Crawley Road, Nr Witney, OX29 9TG.

More information here…

The Big Wood, Corn Exchange

March 3rd, 2010

Public Meeting at Witney’s Corn Exchange, more information on the WWV website.


February 27th, 2010

WWV… no, not a website address gone wrong – it’s Witney Woodland Volunteers.  Set up in 2006, the focus of our Monday mornings has until recently been sustaining footpaths, hedges and wooded areas in the town.  Most of our concern has been concentrated on the areas bordering the Windrush, but we respond to varied invitations from schools and local groups.  We have planted hundreds of appropriate trees and flowers where the environment can benefit, and we hope that all who walk or cycle in the town will have noticed (albeit perhaps subliminally!) the results of our care.

As with many groups of this nature, our focus has evolved and expanded.  We are firm believers in the notion “Think globally, act locally”, and in keeping with our local brief we have added two major projects to our portfolio.  The first is in conjunction with the District Council:  we are currently finalising an agreement which will give us rights to a four-acre site adjoining Deer Park.  For over a year, we have worked closely with planners to evolve a design for the site which will create a landscaped public access area for future generations.

The second major project is with the Wychwood Project and is on a larger scale.  The Project has invested in 22 acres of farmland on the north-east fringe of Witney with the intention of creating Wychwood’s newest and largest community woodland.  It’s a massive undertaking, and as the local hands-on group, WWV has been involved from the start.  It’s a case of “watch this space” as this major project emerges from an expanse of grazing land.

If your interest is whetted, you can find out more from our website or email Juliet Curry <>.  Most of us focus on Monday mornings, when our main weekly task is timetabled –  but there are opportunities in the group for those with particular talents to be involved in other activities.