TOE2 Funding for Thrupp Lake Projects

A report from Lucy Tomkinson, Community Reserves Warden at Earth Trust.

Thanks to funding from The Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment 2 (TOE2),  Earth Trust is about to start work on a biodiversity enhancement project at Thrupp Lake.

The project will enable us to add new biodiversity features to the Thrupp Lake Reserve as well as continue our existing work with the Thursday volunteer group supporting priority habitats and species. The project will concentrate on increasing habitat diversity in the small pocket of establishing meadow known as St David’s Meadow, through sowing wildflower seed and planting plug plants.

We will also be focusing on increasing the nesting habitats for a range of species. This will entail building an otter holt on a suitable island (we know Thrupp Lake is within the Abingdon otters’ territory) and installing a number of bird boxes, including a tawny owl box, and bat boxes in suitable locations around the lake to provide more roost sites for the noctule bats and soprano pipistrelle bats that live there. We also plan to build tern rafts, to put on the lake to provide much needed ground nesting areas, and an artificial sand martin barrel to encourage the local population of sand martins to breed at Thrupp Lake; both of these species are Amber listed Birds of Conservation Concern.

Volunteers building a Tern Raft in West Berkshire c Lucy Tomkinson

Volunteers building a Tern Raft © Lucy Tomkinson












The project will also help us to continue the rotational coppicing of the lake islands, opening them up for nesting waterfowl such as coots, great crested grebes and roosting overwintering ducks like shoveler and teal. We will also carry on using the coppiced materials to widen the islands as potential nesting sites and roosting sites for overwintering.

A tern raft - the boxes on top are to protect the chicks (c) Lucy Tomkinson

 A tern raft (boxes on top are to protect the chicks) ©  Lucy Tomkinson












The work being carried out will contribute to UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP), contributing towards Oxfordshire’s BAP 2020 targets.

We are hoping to make a start on the project in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for the Thursday Volunteers’ handy work!

Sunday 27 March 2016 - Lucy Tomkinson, Warden

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