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Lye Valley News


Forthcoming Work Parties

Saturday 12 May 2018

With the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Join the Wild Oxford Project in Lye Valley 
Outdoor clothing and sturdy boots needed. 
Please contact 
Andy Gunn on andygunn@bbowt.org.uk
or 
01865 775476 Ext. 237 or 07834 975162 for details of location.
Session runs from 10am–3pm but feel free to come and go as you like on the day. Tasks to suit everyone.
Hot drinks and cake/biscuits are provided at all sessions, but please bring lunch if you plan to stay all day.

Sunday 1 July 2018, 10am–3pm

Work party at the Lye Valley SOUTH fen
Help the Oxford Conservation Volunteers with the important job of raking up the cut rush and reed from the worst rankest areas (avoiding the orchids)  this job gets easier every year and is to mimic the grazing that is not possible on this private site. All tools, hot drinks and biscuits supplied but bring lunch if staying all day. If you have only an hour free to help that would still be much appreciated. If you have not been to this site before, meeting point at entrance to footpath on Lye Valley Road opposite lowest end of Coverly Road, ring 07968395243 for directions from there.

Sunday 8 July 2018, 10am–3pm

Work party at the Lye Valley NORTH fen
Help the Oxford Conservation Volunteers with the important job of raking up the cut rush and reed from the worst rankest areas (avoiding the orchids)  this job gets easier every year and is to mimic the grazing that is not possible on site. All tools, hot drinks and biscuits supplied but bring lunch if staying all day. If you have only an hour free to help that would still be much appreciated.

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Midweek work sessions

These sessions for Members of Friends of Lye Valley are on Wednesdays 9–11am
All tools supplied. Outdoor clothing and sturdy boots needed

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Fossils and Flower Walk at Rock Edge
and the Lye Valley

Geoweek event organized by Oxford Geology Trust and FoLV. Aimed at families

Sunday 13 May 2018, 2–4pm

A guided walk led by Owen Green and Judy Webb, starting at Rock Edge and then walking to the Lye Valley North Fen area.

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Ecofestival at Holy Trinity Church

Sunday 20 May 2018

Come and see FoLV displays on our stand. More details to follow

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Oxford Civic Society Visit to Lye Valley

To be led by Dr Judy Webb

Sunday 3 June 2018 at 2.30pm

A chance to see the more attractive landscape and improvements in biodiversity achieved over the last few years of fen restoration on a circular walk through the Lye Valley Fen, along the Boundary Brook and the Churchill field at a time when the early flowers, including the common Spotted Orchid, will be out.

Booking necessary with the society, places limited to 20, takes about 1.5hrs.

Meet: Site entrance off The Slade, just south of Girdlestone Road. There is only a small footpath sign pointing into the valley at a track between houses, assemble just down from this. There is no parking in the footpath entrance and restricted (residents) parking nearby, so come by any means other than car, but if car unavoidable, there may be parking at Peat Moors Recreation field car park at the end of Peat Moors road (unless of course there is a sports event on in the recreation field).

Stout shoes, uneven ground for parts of walk.

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Friends of Lye Valley AGM

Monday 6 August 2018 at 7.30pm
St Francis Church Hall, Hollow Way

The talk by Judy Webb will be titled ‘Bringing back Elm and Lime trees to the Lye Valley’. Who remembers the stately Elm trees before the Dutch Elm Disease hit in the 1970s?  Did you realise Oxfordshire was once covered by limewoods; all now gone?  This talk  will be the story of Elms and Limes, two types of trees lost from the landscape of Oxfordshire, that we are now re-introducing to the drier areas in the Lye Valley; with great benefit to wildlife in the future.

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Talk by Judy Webb on “The BBOWT Wild Oxford Project

Wednesday 26 September 2018 in the evening
at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Parks Road

More details to follow

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Second planning application for land at Town Furze refused

Another second application (submitted in October 2017) to build four houses on land west of 75 Town Furze, which is directly above the Lye Valley South Fen, was refused on 12 December 2017:

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Local Plan Preferred Options Document

The Friends of Lye Valley response can be seen here

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Lye Valley granted new protective status

The Lye Valley's extraordinary hydrological and geomorphological features – its “Living Geology” – has been recognised by its new protective designation as Local Geology Site by the Oxfordshire Geology Trust:

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Judy Webb awarded Certificate of Honour

Dr Judy Webb, FOLV Chair, has been awarded the prestigious Certificate of Honour in recognition of her immense voluntary contribution to wildlife, the environment and green spaces in Oxford.

Judy receiving certificate

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Local Geology site proposal for Lye Valley

Oxfordshire Geology Trust have proposed the Lye Valley be designated a Local Geology Site in recognition of its extraordinary qualities: see application

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Open Day held on 25 June 2017

Information and photographs on website of Judy Webb

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Vision for the Lye Valley

The FOLV's Vision is to conserve and/or restore the whole of the Lye Valley as a natural continuous green area of land with a mosaic of different wet and dry habitats

See separate page

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Development of Warren Meadow

The development at Warren Meadow is to go ahead:
see separate page

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Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)

Join the Wild Oxford Project in Lye Valley
Outdoor clothing and sturdy boots needed.
Please contact Andy Gunn on andygunn@bbowt.org.uk
or 01865 775476 Ext. 237 or 07834 975162 for details of location.

All sessions run from 10am–3pm but feel free to come and go as you like on the day. Tasks to suit everyone.

Hot drinks and cake/biscuits are provided at all sessions, but please bring lunch if you plan to stay all day.

  • Future sessions to be announced
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Older news from the Friends of Lye Valley
can be found here


Oxford Times 1 September 2016

Left: Article from Oxford Times of 1 September 2016 about green spaces in Headington and the Local Plan

 

 

The Grass of Parnassus

The fragile and rare Grass of Parnassus, first named by Matthias de L’Obel in 1570 when he found it growing in Hogley Bog (i.e. the Lye Valley), flowered again at the end of August 2014, hidden amid squelchy pools cloudy with tufa. 

Dr Judy Webb has captured the stages of the buds’ unfolding in a series of pictures, from the male stage with anthers folded over stigma and the false nectary staminodes clear, through anthers bending out and opening one at a time stage, to the female stage where the anthers are gone, the ovary turns pink, and the stigmas are now uncovered and receptive to pollen on top of the ovary. Then follows the new seed pod. Characteristically one heart-shaped leaf encircles the stem

It was first noted in this wetland in 1640, but has probably been here since the last Ice Age. The Lye Valley is the most southerly place that the grass is found in England.

Oxford Mail, 30 August 2014:
Ice Age flower is still quite at home in balmy Headington

Grass of Parnassus thumbnail

 

 

“Flowers ’n’ Bees” stroll round Rock Edge on 17 July 2016

Passing round insects 17 July 2016 Dr Judy Webb showed us some of the varieties of bee attracted by the wild flower meadow, and a parasitic wasp


Judy Webb's tour of the Lye Valley 6 July 2016: Oxford Mail report
Walk, July 2016


January 2016

Frost
Frost transforms the Lye Valley

Elder
Pithy elder stems will make homes
for red mason bees

Boardwalk
Oxford City Council repairs the boardwalk

Blackthorn
Volunteers bash old blackthorn to encourage
regrowth for rare hairstreak butterflies

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Did You Know?

Proportionately there are more rare plants in the Lye Valley than in any other city site – at 20 species this is a third of the 61 species on the County Rare Plants Register found within all the nature sites in and around Oxford that are managed by Oxford City Council.

See our Chair, Dr Judy Webb’s, detailed report on the state of the Lye Valley for the Wild Oxford Project.  It’s the ONLY fen (alkaline bog) to show such fast return to its former glory in Oxfordshire.  Formerly there were 10 really good alkaline fens.  Of these, 8 are being lost to natural succession to wet woodland through lack of management. Only Cothill fen and the Lye Valley fen are actually improving, due to having management. The Lye Valley fen – thanks to its volunteers, Oxford City Council, BBOWT, Oxford Conservation Volunteers – and not forgetting the Friends of Lye Valley – is getting better and better!  But it still needs our help and protection.

Read all about it!

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Oxford City Council consultation on Draft Corporate Biodiversity Strategy 2015–2020
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Annual General Meetings

The Annual General Meetings of the Friends of Lye Valley are held at St Francis Church Hall, Hollow Way in August. The agreed minutes of each AGM can be seen below.

2013 AGM   •    2014 AGM   •    2015 AGM   •    2016 AGM

Friends of Lye Valley, 2013–2017