Thursday, 20 June 2019

Visitors lucky to see rare Loddon lily in bloom at nature reserve’s open day

Visitors lucky to see rare Loddon lily in bloom at nature reserve’s open day

MORE than 60 people attended an open day at the Withymead nature reserve near Goring.

The visitors walked around the 22-acre site off the Ridgeway and admired the rare Loddon lily which is now blooming.

Rebecca Joisce, who chairs the trustees, said: “The afternoon went very well and was well attended from quite early on.

“There were lots of children and a few cyclists stopped as they were passing through. It was a very successful day.”

The reserve, which is run by the Anne Carpmael Charitable Trust, recently received a £7,500 grant from Network Rail as part of a biodiversity scheme set up in partnership with the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment.

This is to create new habitats to offset those lost when gantries were installed along the neighbouring railway line ready for its electrification.

The money will pay for new fruit trees in its forest school area and for mixed woodland trees near its study centre.

Mrs Joisce said: “The improvements must be made within the next two years so we’re now liaising with the project planners to work out the details. It’s a very exciting time.”

Meanwhile, a new sign, funded by the Dorothy Holmes Charitable Trust, has been erected at the slipway that was used by pioneering boatbuilder Samuel Saunders when he owned and worked at the site.

The reserve will now be open every Sunday afternoon until May 26 and again on June 30, July 28 and August 25. Cream teas will be served from the final May date onwards.

There will be a dawn chorus walk on Sunday and an evening bat walk next Saturday (May 25). Booking is essential. Call (01491) 872265 or visit www.withymead.co.uk

Admission is free but donations are encouraged.

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