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Otmoor: A New RSPB Reserve


Alan Parfitt

9 October 2009

2:30pm at Newbury Town Hall

Non-members £3

At the first meeting of the 2009 autumn lecture series Alan Parfitt, a volunteer Warden, spoke about Otmoor, a new RSPB Reserve. It is the lowest area in Oxfordshire and often flooded; there was a road across in roman times but none since. One of the last Enclosure Acts in 1833 was very unpopular stopping grazing rights for outlying villages. From the late 19th century the moor has been used for military purposes, now the MOD has only a rifle range. First attempts to drain the moor were unsuccessful but with EU money it was completed. In 1997 the RSPB bought 350 acres of arable land (now increased to nearly 900 acres) to reconvert to wet grassland and construct a reed bed, with an initial target of bringing back major species, lapwing, redshank, snipe and curlew. In a sequence of attractive slides Mr Parfitt showed us the various stages of preparing the reed bed, and the wide range of flora and fauna, including some rarities, that has been encouraged to re-colonise the site.
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