Woodstock’s natural habitats include:
The Water Meadows
The water meadows are a unique feature in the heart of the town providing a valuable habitat for birds, small mammals, and plants from small aquatic species to mature trees. It covers 5.5 hectares of land on the flood plain of the River Glyme and is easily accessible to the public as an area of quiet tranquillity. It is bounded on the north by the mill stream which, these days, carries most of the water through and under the main A44 road and in to the Blenheim Lake by the seven arches bridge. On the south side it is bounded by the more modest flows of the residual Glyme river. The watermeadows are frequently flooded in winter although drier areas have been set aside for managed grazing. The area is home to a large number of pollarded willows, white poplar and more recently planted species.
Whilst the Watermeadows Management Committee are committed to retaining the natural characteristics of the area there is a need for regular maintenance, particularly the requirement to keep to reasonable levels the amount of Himalayan Balsam which, if left unattended, would swamp other plant life in the meadow. The management policy for this unique habitat area is set out in the Watermeadows Management Plan, a comprehensive document drawn up for the Town Council by the conservation group The Wychwood Project. From 1st June 2016 the Wychwood Project took over the management of many aspects of the Woodstock water meadows under a contract from the Town Council.
The Old Woodstock Line (OWL) Nature Reserve
In 2005 the Council acquired the old railway line (Old Woodstock Line – OWL) which had lain abandoned for many years at the back of Budds Close off Banbury Road. Under the leadership of Oxfordshire County Council’s Wychwood Project staff and the efforts of the voluntary warden Bob Pomfret and others, the area was developed into a small linear nature reserve.
The Woodstock Community Woodland
The Town Council also has responsibility for the new Woodstock Community Woodland to the north of the town. This project is managed by Sustainable Woodstock on behalf of the Council and all enquiries should be made to www.sustainablewoodstock.co.uk.
Pictured here are the group on the final day of planting the 1600 trees that comprise the new woodland.