Cash boost for community projects
Supporting the community continues to be a top priority at West Oxfordshire District Council with the latest projects to be allocated funding announced.
One scheme to benefit from a Community Revenue Grant is the Lower Windrush Valley Project (LWVP) which has received £2,000.
Running from the south east of Witney in West Oxfordshire down to meet the River Thames at Newbridge, the LWVP was formed in 2001 and works closely with mineral operators, landowners and the local community to co-ordinate a range of nature conservation, land management and public access initiatives throughout the valley.
Good examples of its work can be seen at the Rushy Common Nature Reserve and the adjacent Tar Lakes near Cogges - areas that have been subject to mineral extraction over 60 years and which have now been transformed into havens for wildlife, plants and trees.
A total of 120 species of birds have been recorded across the 30 hectare site which includes three lakes. These include common terns, lapwings and geese, while a barn owl box has been used successfully for breeding.
Project Manager Lucy Kennery said: “These areas are about conservation and land management while simultaneously engaging with local communities with events and volunteering opportunities.”
Lucy is the only staff member employed by the Project but it has a team of volunteer wardens and a steering group.
The grant will help support events such as the Wetland Wildlife Family Day in June, maintain facilities such as the bird hide and contribute to overall running costs.
Cllr Jeanette Baker, Cabinet Member responsible for grants, said: “We are extremely lucky to have such a rich diversity of community organisations in the District. The work they do is invaluable and so we are delighted to retain the same level of grant support for community projects as in previous years.
“Hopefully this funding will help them maintain and develop their activities for the benefit of all West Oxfordshire residents.”
The Community Revenue Grant offers a cash boost to a range of activities and organisations that support the Council’s priority aims. Support is also available for capital projects through a Community Facilities scheme and there is a Community Activities grant for arts and heritage projects.