Nature Reserves

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Aston's Eyot, OxfordWebsiteStreet MapPhotos

Aston's Eyot
Managed by:Friends of Aston's Eyot
OS grid reference:SP 522 050
Nearest postcode:OX4 1SR
Usual work:Willow Pollarding

Aston's Eyot is a large 30 acre site, literally speaking an island (hence 'Eyot') bordered by the Thames, Cherwell New Cut and Shire Lake Ditch, just downstream from Christ Church Meadow. The land is owned by Christ Church College and is managed by an enthusiastic Friends group with some help from the Oxford City Council. We work for, and with, the Friends to pollard willows on the bank of the Shire Lake Ditch.

History

Until the mid 19th century the low-laying riverside water meadow of Aston's Eyot was used for a mixturefof animal pasture and market gardens. It then fell out of productive use and was used as a rubbish dump from late Victorian times until the 1940s. Since then a mixture of habitats have developed on the land, particularly a mixture of open land ideal for wild flowers, and scrub. There is also some woodland created through a mixture of intentional planting and spontaneous growth.

Directions

Leave central Oxford heading south on the Iffley Road (A4158). Approximately 1 km after the roundabout at The Plain, turn right onto Jackdaw Lane. The locked, gated entrance to the reserve is at the far end of Jackdaw Lane, just beyond the metal salvage yard. Note that there is limited parking at weekends at the bottom of Bedford Street - i.e. at the junction of Bedford Street and Meadow Lane (see Google Maps). Access on foot is also possible via The Kidneys Nature Park which has several entrances from Meadow Lane.