Location: SP391425 - Road towards Balscote from the A422, Stratford Road, west of Banbury.  Open access to BOS members at all times.

SatNav location: 52.080718, -1.429958. Nearby postcode: OX15 6JT

Disturbance to the reserve is kept to a minimum by viewing from the screen.

Wardens:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Mark Ribbons

Purchased by the BOS in 1998, this 6.2 ha disused quarry site provides a wonderful wetland habitat for birds. Part of the reserve is a wetland flash area formed by seasonal rainfall that may dry out in summer. There is also a deep pool which retains water all year.

The wet area attracts breeding Lapwing, Little Grebe and Mallard and Little Ringed Plover. Sand Martin have bred in an artificial tower as have the local Tree Sparrows. 

The reserve also attracts many butterfly and dragonfly species.

Your new BOS management team, Steve Holliday and Mark Ribbons, will be working to the new Reserve Management Plan developed over the past few years. The priority habitats for the reserve have been agreed as the seasonal wetland with its breeding lapwings, little ringed plovers and roosting curlew, the unimproved grasslands which are particularly good for butterflies, and the areas of scrub and hedgerow.

Our first big project has been the long-awaited re-profiling of the quarry floor. The aim of this was to tackle the long-standing challenge at the reserve to hold water longer into the summer when waders are breeding or roosting. Regular visitors will know that any water on site quickly evaporates if we have dry spells in spring and early summer.

From 24-28 September 2018, we had a large excavator and 6 ton dumper truck on site with earth movement not seen since its days as a working quarry. We were able to provide more depth to areas of the quarry floor where seasonal flooding occurs and to create new scrapes where we removed an invasive pondweed which was blanketing areas of the wetland. 

The excavation work was made possible by a generous grant from Trust for Oxfordshire's Environment (TOE) covering 3 days of work and transport of the machinery to and from site. TOE have funded projects for BOS before including Roger's sand martin tower on the reserve.

We have a small team of regular volunteers and any extra help would be greatly appreciated! Please note our practical work is limited to an equivalent of light gardening. It is mostly pruning or lopping the scrub which is encroaching on the grassland and wetland or raking areas of cut grass. To take part please wear stout footwear and suitable clothing. Much of the scrub is blackthorn and hawthorn so thick gloves and protective glasses are needed. We have some spare glasses on site. Please bring secateurs and loppers if you have them.

If you have any queries do get in touch.

This new paper, published on World Curlew Day on 21 April 2022, describes the current and historical status of the Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata in an area of 1200 square kilometres centred on Banbury.   Click here to link to the paper Read more ...

Details for this meeting will be pubished here and in the newsletter closer to the time.


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