Dear Matt,

The Radley Neighbourhood Plan and the Radley Lakes

Work has been continuing on a ‘masterplan’ for the wider Radley Lakes area (see previous newsletters). This plan will help to define how the Lakes can be managed in future as an area for ‘nature conservation and quiet recreation’, in line with a commitment in the Radley Neighbourhood Plan.

Radley Parish Council has commissioned a consultant (Paul Dempster of Cranley Environmental Ltd) to work up initial ideas. A small steering group has been formed, consisting of Richard Dudding, Roger Thomas, Mike Wilson, David Guyoncourt and David Fraser. We are hoping that a representative of Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council will also join the group soon.

Once the initial ideas have been produced, there will be a phase of consultation, including with members of Friends of Radley Lakes. We anticipate that this will probably be in May, and we will let you know about this nearer the time.

Roger Thomas
Chairman Friends of Radley Lakes

News from Earth Trust

We recently cleared the vegetation on some of the Islands at Thrupp Lake ahead of the bird nesting season. This is something we do every year to provide a range of options for nesting birds at Thrupp Lake; some islands we leave and have developed good tree/scrub for birds that prefer to nest in amongst cover, other islands we cut vegetation bramble/willow re-growth etc. on a rotation (some every year others every other year/every 3 years) to provide islands for birds that prefer to nest in the open.

I also recently checked the bird and bat boxes at Thrupp Lake with volunteer Ben Carpenter (who has a Bat licence), which is something we do every winter to see what bird boxes were used during the bird breeding season, clear out old nests ahead of the new breeding season, and check the bat boxes for droppings as a proxy to see if they have been used, and occasionally we find roosting bats in the boxes. This winter we found 2 brown long-eared bats and one pipistrelle bat using the bat boxes.

Lucy Duerdoth
Senior Warden (Community Reserves) Earth Trust

Dates for your Diaries

Normally, at this time of the year, there would be a number of dates for you to put in your diaries. Things like Tea at the Lakes, Fun in the Parks and an Open Garden were, until recently, lined up for us to look forward to over the next few months. Sadly these events are now extremely unlikely to happen given the coronavirus crisis. Should there be any change you will be emailed directly about them.

'Water Vole' © Jo Cartmell
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