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Rural project lands major grant award


May 29, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ May 2018 Cotswold News


A charity dedicated to restoring and developing the landscape of West Oxfordshire has been given a major grant award.

The Wychwood Project, based in Witney, has received a £21,759 Community Revenue Grant from West Oxfordshire District Council which will go towards educational visits as well as conserving and developing natural habitats.

Project Director Sharon Williams said: “We have recruited a learning officer who will be running a summer camp for youngsters this year as well as walks and talks and rural craft days.

“Organisations such as Abingdon and Witney College and the Scouts are also engaging with us and so we are very grateful for this funding which allows us to carry out our wide range of activities.”

Founded in 1997, the scheme was originally set up to restore the ancient forest of Wychwood and that remains at the heart of the Project’s activities.

“We have just planted about 1,000 trees near Pudlicote – it’s all about focusing on the landscape and ecology of this area,” Sharon added.

Other sites include Foxburrow Wood at Hailey, Grimes Meadows, Witney and Woodstock Water Meadows.

Activities include deer management, dry stone walling, hedge laying and encouraging birdlife such as barn owls.

The Project now has three full time staff and about 600 members and relies on charitable donations as well as grant awards.

The Community Revenue Grant has been introduced by West Oxfordshire District Council with the aim of offering a cash boost to a range of activities and organisations.

Cllr Jeanette Baker, Cabinet Member for Grants, said: “We are fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful areas in England and the activities of organisations such as the Wychwood Project help ensure it stays that way.

“We are enormously grateful for their efforts and that is reflected in the grant which we know will be put to good use to protect and improve the environment of the District.”