Nature Reserves

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Kirtlington Parish, North OxfordshireStreet MapGoogle MapPhotos

Kirtlington Parish
Managed by:Kirtlington Parish Council and KWACS
OS grid reference:SP 501 195
Nearest postcode:OX5 3HJ
Usual work:Scrub clearance, tree planting, hedge laying, fencing

The Kirtlington Parish Council and the Kirtlington Wildlife and Conservation Society (KWACS) look after Kyte's Pond, the wildlife areas within St Mary's churchyard, several paths and the grounds of a village hall. The many varied habitats are created and maintained by the two organisations for the benefit of wildlife.

Kirtlington Parish contains a wide range of habitat types, including the Oxford Canal, the River Cherwell, farmland and woodland. Kirtlington is also home to the Kirtlington Quarry Nature Reserve managed on lease by Cherwell District Council from the owner, Blue Circle Cement. This is a regionally important geological site and Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Flora and Fauna

There are a variety of species of flora and fauna within the different sites within Kirtlington Parish. It has been discovered that the endangered lapwings, corn buntings and skylarks all breed in the area, along with more common species of bird. Within the churchyard 17 different butterflies and a multitude of plants and trees thrive. Kirtlington quarry is home to 90 different species of bees, wasps and ants. The village pond is home to a range of invertebrates, newts, and is a breeding area for Moorhens.

The parish is home to a large number of native hedges, which provide food and shelter for a wide variety of native birds, mammals, invertebrates and flora.

Conservation Management

KWACS undertake many surveys within the area, in order to discover what species are present and to therefore plan the most appropriate conservation management strategies. Two wildlife areas were created in the churchyard of St Mary's church, which are mown at environmentally favourable times in order to encourage butterflies and protect invertebrates, and to allow the flora to seed before cutting in order to allow them to thrive. Washford pits is maintained by clearing scrubland to protect grassland flora. After the discovery of swifts within Kirtlington Parish nest boxes were installed in the church tower. Other bird boxes have been installed within Kirtlington Quarry.

The village pond is maintained through pulling of bull rushes in order to maintain a good balance between sheltered and open areas of the pond, and so that the more delicate flora are not smothered with the invasive bull rushes. Bramble clearing is also carried out in order to allow native species space to flourish and to allow planting of new native hedges that increase the possibility of food and shelter for native birds, manuals, invertebrates and flora. Native shrubs are also planted around the parish in order to support and encourage wildlife.

Directions

Take the A34 northbound. About 4 miles before the M40, turn off onto the B4027 and follow the road through Bletchington. At the junction with the A4095 turn right and follow the road into Kirtlington. Turn right into South Green and follow the small road past a few houses. After a short distance the lane opens out into the village hall car park.