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What has Enstone Eco done this year?

Lots, as it turns out! See our annual report here

We are a small core group of volunteers, with a larger network of residents who are interested in volunteering for practical activities to improve the local environment. 

 

Over the last year we have:

  1. Asked the Parish Council to include a question about cutting grass verges in the parish survey and raised awareness of the benefits with local residents. This contributed to 70% of responses supporting reducing the frequency of grass cutting and the Parish Council adoption of a “No Mow May” approach which will increase wildflowers and feed bees and other insects.

  2. Published articles in The Ensign each month and blogs on our website www.enstone-eco.co.uk to raise awareness.

  3. Opened a bank account

  4. Tested water quality on the River Glyme for nitrates and phosphates.

  5. Explored a proposal to establish a workshop similar to the Witney Shed which makes items for the local community. Although regrettably, there wasn’t sufficient local interest in this to take this forward at this time.

  6. At the western corner of the Bicester Rd and Gt Tew Rd crossroad known as “Enstone Corner (West)” we: a) Got the site assessed by a qualified ecologist as suitable for wildflowers  b) Gained support of OCC for suitable seed mix c) Applied for a grant to undertake the work, but regrettably were unsuccessful.

  7. Joined the Parish Councillors at the Meet the Parish Council event in September and canvassed parishioners about what environmental improvements they would like to see.

  8. Contacted the Environment Agency about the local former landfill site 

  9. Commented on planning applications to ensure environmental issues are addressed.

  10. Undertook riverfly monitoring training to assess water quality in the River Glyme

  11. Asked the Parish Council to fund TVERC report which revealed the nine Local Wildlife Sites within the parish and records of their species surveys. 

  12. Agreed to draft a Biodiversity Action Plan for the Parish Council to consider adopting to ensure it effectively conserves and increases local biodiversity.  

  13. Met with several local organisations to understand what environmental activity is happening across the parish and enhance communication between groups.

 

Enstone Eco volunteers have also assisted:

  • St Kenelm’s by removing an old compost heap and surveying butterflies in the churchyard.

  • the Parish Council annual litter pick contributing to it being the biggest litter pick yet.

  • the Green Gym clearing undergrowth at Enstone Corner (East) to encourage growth of woodland floor plants. We also reported invasive species (Japanese Knotweed) on the adjacent land.

 

In the next 12 months we intend to:

  1. Complete a draft Biodiversity Action Plan for the Parish Council to consider.

  2. Identify areas of biodiversity and survey these with local experts to provide baseline information against which to monitor changes.

  3. Create a wildflower meadow at the junction of Bicester and Great Tew roads (Enstone Corner West) with the assistance of the Green Gym and local schoolchildren to design an explanatory sign to increase biodiversity and awareness.

  4. Seek commercial and grant funding for projects within the parish.

  5. Grow the number of volunteers who are willing to assist with local practical actions e.g. assist the school in clearing it’s pond.

  6. Observe for invasive species and encourage appropriate treatment to conserve the native habitat.

  7. Undertake “Green Defenders” training by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) to enhance our ability to comment on environmental aspects of planning applications.

  8. Monitor riverfly larvae as an indicator of river health as well as recording phosphate and nitrate levels near the Enstone sewage treatment works outlet on the Glyme.

 

We thank those who have been involved with running the group over the last year, St Kenelm’s PCC for allowing us to meet in the church and the Parish Council for its continued encouragement.

 

Anyone who is interested in finding out more about us or would like to be added to our list of volunteers should contact us at enstoneeco@gmail.com or join us at one of our regular meetings which are advertised on our website www.enstone-eco.co.uk 

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