Local residents feedback on River of Life II proposals
This October we invited local residents to join us at public consultation events across four local village locations, to find out more about our River of Life II wetlands project. Earth Trust has partnered with local landowners Church Farm Partnership and The Hurst Water Meadow Trust to improve water ecosystems along the River Thames and River Thame. We will be creating new wetland habitats between Overy Mead and Clifton Meadow and further ponds will be created in Little Wittenham Wood. Thanks to funding from a Water Environment Grant, this exciting new partnership project will revive and create natural riverside wetland systems and increase biodiversity.
The consultations were well attended by local residents. Visual materials were on display and our project manager was able to talk through this ambitious and exciting project. As well as providing an opportunity to give local people more information about the practical elements around local impact, it was also a chance to explain how these new ponds, backwaters and wet woodland will provide vital habitats for wildlife.
As a team we enjoyed hearing about the reasons why people love these special green spaces, with plenty saying they enjoyed spotting all the varied wildlife and being out in nature. One Little Wittenham resident said: “This is a wonderful area and the River Thames is one of my favourite walks coming out of Wallingford, it’s a really tranquil part of the river.”
The feedback that we received from visitors provided us with valuable information and it was fantastic for us to be able to work with the community in shaping our plans. All attendees throughout the consultation strongly agreed that this entire stretch of river and surrounding countryside was extremely important to the community, and protecting and enhancing wildlife here is vital.
“What a fantastic project! Thank you for putting on the exhibition – the information helped me to understand the scope of the work to be undertaken.”
Clifton Hampden resident
The full planning application for the riverside wetlands will be submitted in late November, and the application for the new ponds in Little Wittenham Wood will go in at the end of December. We will be sharing the details of these applications as soon as they are live. It is expected that the South Oxfordshire District Council consultation will last 21 days as part of a 13 week determination period.
We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to come along and share their thoughts.
River of Life II is funded by a Water Environment Grant through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.