Category Archives: wildlife

Some wildlife is doing well

Cow parsley skirts the River Thames opposite the Old Anchor Inn.

Downstream from Abingdon, the riverbank is covered with flowers. Cow parsley grows just about anywhere. Then, as you walk further, a yellow flower takes over as the dominant plant.

The yellow flowers could well be self-seeded oil seed rape, although I can’t remember these particular fields having grown such a crop. They were grown two or three fields away.

There are sparrows flitting and chirping on the riverbank.

The mallard is the commonest, most widespread,  duck in Abingdon and you have a good chance of seeing mallards just about everywhere. They are most at home on or near the river, but can sometimes be seen in the strangest of places, like supermarket forecourts.

Masterplan for Radley Lakes launched in May 2021

The Radley Neighbourhood Plan, formally adopted in 2018, included a proposal that the wider Radley Lakes area (about ten times the size of Thrupp Lake) should be managed for nature conservation and quiet recreation in the future.

A masterplan for the future of the area has been launched in May 2021.

The Radley Lakes Trust, a registered charity, was established in November 2020, to take forward the implementation of the masterplan. Funding will come from developer contributions (‘CIL’) to Radley Parish Council.

The plan sets out a vision for the Lakes, focused on protecting wildlife and providing valuable green space for local people. The masterplan proposes:
• Enhancing the diverse and rich natural habitats of Radley Lakes.
• New pedestrian and cycling routes and safer parking for cars and bikes.
• New and more varied walking trails within the area, with places to sit and relax.
• Information displays and signage. These will be at the two entry hubs (at Thrupp Lake and Barton Fields) and along the walking trails.

Part of the area, Thrupp Lake, is already open to the public. The Radley Lakes Trust is having discussions with landowners about permissive paths in the wider Radley Lakes area.

To prevent visitors from disturbing important wildlife habitat there will be no public access to sensitive areas.

Councillor Cheryl Briggs, Mayor of Abingdon-on-Thames, said: ‘Time spent in the natural environment is increasingly being recognised as essential for physical and mental wellbeing. The Radley Lakes area meets this important need for the people of Radley, Abingdon and beyond. Lockdown has highlighted this, with many more people discovering and enjoying the area. We believe the masterplan will ensure that these invaluable benefits are sustained for our local communities for generations to come.’

The Radley Lakes Masterplan is available at:

Abbey Fish Ponds – May 2021

The pools in the Abbey Fish Ponds nature reserve have grown green shoots.

Sedge and reeds grow straight up from the watery ground.

The stream that runs down the middle has green plants in the water as well as the banks, including what could be Iris shoots.

This view shows the bridge over the stream as seen from the high path running across the middle of the nature reserve.

There are hawthorns blossoming in May.

The first leaves to appear in clumps from the floor of the woodland areas have now produced their cuckoo’s pint.

There are many birds singing throughout the day .

Abbey Fish Ponds – April 2021

Today was another sunny day in the current warm spell that follows a cool start to April.

Looking down from the earth mounds, at the centre of the Abbey Fishponds nature reserve, the fenland below is half green where the sedges have been cut back and are growing back fresh, and a straw colour where last year’s dry stems have been left.

Sedges can be seen growing from the edge of the boggy ground.

The pools are also being surrounded by green leaves.

Round the edges of the nature reserve new trees are growing from their protective sheaths.

From the woodland areas lots of Lords and Ladies can be developing their male flowers, the so called Cuckoo-pint.

There are a lot of birds singing and fighting for space, particularly in the wooded areas.

There are also early insects such as this Orange-tip Butterfly.

At the entrances to the Nature Reserve are notices warning of ticks. Ticks can transmit microbes that cause illnesses like Lyme disease.