Momentous day for Boundary Brook Nature Park

thisisoxfordshire: Oxford Urban Wildlife Group secretary Janet Keene at Boundary Brook Nature Park Buy this photo Oxford Urban Wildlife Group secretary Janet Keene at Boundary Brook Nature Park

AFTER more than 20 years an East Oxford community project will be sowing what could be its final seeds of success.

Volunteers at Boundary Brook Nature Park will gather to plant about 150 trees on the last piece of the former allotment site not to be planted.

Twelve volunteers will meet on Saturday from 10am to 1pm to plant 50 oak trees, 50 beech trees and 50 small leaf lime trees.

The nature park opened more than two decades ago after Oxford Urban Wildlife Group leased the land from Oxford City Council.

Since then more land has been added to expand the site and this weekend it will be transformed into woodland.

Janet Keene, the secretary of Oxford Urban Wildlife Group, said: “Obviously it is an ongoing project but the main areas are now determined so it is just a matter of managing it now. It will be a bit of a momentous day.”

In 1988 it was announced that the city council was considering selling off a number of the redundant plots at the East Ward allotments because of waning interest.

Oxford Urban Wildlife Group, which had been set up only six months previously, lobbied the city council not to develop the site and signed an 11-year lease for the two acres of land on a peppercorn rent.

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Since then the land has been transformed into a nature reserve with a variety of habitats including woodland, pond area, a wildflower meadow and a kitchen garden.

Last year the wildlife group doubled the size of the park by leasing another two acre plot from the city council which will now be home to hundreds of new trees including oaks, small-leaved limes and beech trees which have been paid for through a grant.

Ms Keene said: “I think that with allotments being more popular these days we are not likely to expand further.

“It is quite an area to manage and we rely on volunteers.

“This natural woodland will be a good habitat for birds and it will be interesting for local people to see all these trees, which are native to Britain.

“When we first came here the whole place was boring but now you feel you are in the middle of the countryside though obviously you are in East Oxford.

“It is important to have spaces like this in the middle of the city.”

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