Vale of White Horse District Council press release 16 March 2023 FUNDING TO GIVE NATURE RESERVE A NEW 'LEAF OF LIFE'
Tuckmill Nature Reserve is set for a refresh with a £76,000 funding boost to support local volunteers and help maintain and enhance the reserve's biodiversity.
Vale of White Horse District Council secured the funding from a housing development in Shrivenham, through what's known as Section 106 Contributions, and will be used to support local volunteer group Friends of Tuckmill who help manage and preserve this important ecological site.
This funding will help provide essential new equipment and training to volunteers, as well as the delivery of major upgrades to the boardwalks and bridges to help visitors better experience the beauty of the reserve and learn more about our green spaces and how we can protect them.
Cllr Judy Roberts, Cabinet member for Development and Infrastructure, said: "We are incredibly grateful for the work that Friends of Tuckmill provide to look after this important nature reserve. This funding allows us to continue to work closely with local community groups on nature reserves and our countryside so they can be carefully managed into the future."
Nan Pratt, volunteer at Friends of Tuckmill said: "This funding will help provide essential equipment and training for our passionate volunteers who do so much for this site, as well as help visitors come and immerse themselves in nature.
"We look forward to continuing to work with Vale of White Horse District Council to provide our volunteer service on the ground at Tuckmill Meadows to ensure its biodiversity is maintained and enhanced."
Cllr Simon Howell, local ward member for Watchfield and Shrivenham, said: "I'm delighted to continue to work closely with Friends of Tuckmill and support the important work they do for this site of special scientific interest. If you haven't already, why not plan a trip to Tuckmill Meadow and see the beautiful nature reserve right on our doorstep."
This funding at Tuckmill supports a district-wide council programme working closely with local volunteer groups to help maintain and enhance our countryside sites.
Tuckmill Meadows has been a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) since 1975 for its diverse grass species, unique wetlands and the range of animals and insects that call it home.
The Friends of Tuckmill is a volunteer group established in October 2021 with the aim to maintain and enhance the ecology and habitat of Tuckmill Nature Reserve and to encourage the goodwill and involvement of the local community and appreciation of the reserve.
GREAT NEWS FOR THE RESERVE'S RESTORATION At last, after many months of waiting for help and assistance, Earth Trust - who manage Wittenham Clumps - have been given a short-term contract from Tuckmill's site owners, the Vale of White Horse District Council (VoWHDC), to prepare a plan for the reserve.
The interim management plan will last until September. As well as covering the work we carry out and renewing the boardwalk, it will also include the installation of fencing in anticipation of cattle coming to graze the reserve.
We hope Belted Galloways will be living on the reserve
It is encouraging that Earth Trust see cattle as a high priority as they are the best way to suppress rampant vegetation, allowing a greater variety of more delicate plants and thus benefiting the whole ecosystem.
Earth Trust are also keen to engage and inspire people with the environment which fits perfectly with our aims. Personally, we believe we now have an ally to help and guide us to better management of the site. What happens after September you ask? The VoWHDC will let a five or seven year management contract for Tuckmill and we hope it will be Earth Trust.