The Earth Trust and the Environment Agency are working in partnership to create an extensive wild wetland habitat, with wet woodland, fen, ponds and backwaters, called the ‘River of Life’. The project will create a unique wetland nature reserve alongside 2.5 km of the riverbankbetween Little Wittenham Wood and Shillingford Bridge. Creating these habitats will help to protect threatened wildlife, improve river water quality and will give an insight into how people can benefit from water and wetland landscapes (often referred to as ecosystem services).
The River of Life is expected to take several years to complete, involving approximately 50 hectares of Earth Trust land, much of which will be converted from species poor permanent pasture. The new habitat will be of high conservation value and will include areas suitable for a wide range of species, including mammals, birds, invertebrates and amphibians, and will link directly to Little Wittenham Wood.
Work will begin at the end of September, and although there will be some temporary footpath closures which are being put in place for health and safety reasons, longer term we plan to open up a new permissive path across the Earth Trust Farm. Please bear with us during this time and keep to those paths that remain open. The project aims to engage with local people and provide recreational and learning opportunities once the initial construction work is complete.
For further details of the footpath closures, a map of the new site and general information on this project, please visit
Communications Officer, Earth Trust
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