Nature Reserves

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Cuxham, South OxfordshireStreet MapPhotos

Cuxham Meadow
OS grid reference:SU 669 953
Nearest postcode:OX49 5NE
Usual work:Chalk grassland maintenance

Cuxham meadow is a chalkland in the Chilterns AONB. The local residents of Cuxham decided to develop a wildflower meadow in the early 21st century. The first stages of creating a meadow here is to create conditions that are favorable for the native wildflowers and invertebrates that are typical of chalkland in this area. OCV assist at this site by cutting the tall grasses and ensuring that the land does not scrub over and to help the natice flora and fauna flourish.

Conservation Management

The traditional method of managing chalk grassland is to use Austrian scythes to cut the coarse grasses and then raking off all the cuttings to make sure the new growth comes through next season. If left the cuttings block light to the native flora and enrich the soil feeding invasive plants such as sedge, nettles and brambles that prefer a more nutrient rich soil to the native grassland flora.

Fertilisers are to be avoided on the site. The more fertilisers there are on meadows the easier it is for the coarse grasses and other invasive and/or non native plants you to grow. Ideally the land needs to be cut by hand or grazed by sheep as they usually take all the coarse flora like sedge, reeds and hawthorns. If traditional methods are consistently used over a number of years an ideal habitat for native grassland wild flowers to flourish should develop. This in turn provides food and shelter for the invertebrates, such as bees and butterflies, that rely on them.

Directions

Cuxham village lies along the B480 in the civil parish of Cuxham with Easington in South Oxfordshire. It is about 5.5 miles (9 km) north of Wallingford and about 6 miles (10 km) south of Thame.