Naturalists' News and Sightings


Spring has sprung!


What a weird spring it has been. In Barton Fields yesterday there was a Brown Argus butterfly sheltering in low vegetation from the cool conditions. However the wet weather has provided an unseasonable boost for fungi - in the woodland beside the Sustrans Track I found 5 species. Can anyone identify the inkcap in the photos?


from David Guyoncourt 27 May 2021

Radley Lakes Masterplan

Proposals for a New Future for Radley Lakes

A masterplan launched on 10 May proposes a new future for Radley Lakes, a 136 ha area of former gravel quarries. The plan sets out a vision for the Lakes, focussed on protecting wildlife and providing valuable green space for local people. Major funding for implementing the plan will come from ‘Community Infrastructure Levy’  receipts held by Radley Parish Council. The plan is being launched by the newly-formed Radley Lakes Trust.

 Find out more...

from David Guyoncourt: 10 May 2021

Cowslips and Apple Blossom


The Cowslips on Barton Fields are looking particularly good and well spread out this year, no doubt revitalised by a good dose of rain. The Crab Apple is now in full flower. And Warblers are calling throughout the site - good to have them back.

from Graham Bateman: 30 April 2021

We have a flower


New meadow - 1000 corms planted, 100 plus emerged, 3 in flower today. Possibly did not like the Thames flowing through twice this winter.

from Graham Bateman: 05 April 2021

From swimming pool to ice rink


I have just done 'David's' feeders - lots of tits. The flowing floods have retreated from the new wet meadow which is now covered in ice. Graham

from Graham Bateman:12 February 2021

Adaptable Buntings


For over a week, the ground below the Barton Fields bird feeders had remained under a considerable depth of flowing water - waders needed to reach them. The Reed Buntings, which normally partly feed on the ground picking up spilled seed, were walking out on thin reeds suspended on the water surface and picking up seeds as they floated by.

from Graham Bateman:10 February 2021

Recognition for Judy Webb

Judy Webb a local natural historian and conservationist was included in the New Year's Honours List. She has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) ‘For services to Conservation of Wildlife and Habitats in Oxfordshire’.

Judy's contribution was also recognised on the BBC Woman's Hour Power List 2020 and was interviewed recently on BBC Radio 4.

The Abingdon Naturalists' Society congratulate Judy on this well deserved recognition of her great work.

1 January 2021

Very wet Wet Meadow

tl_files/ANS/Images/ GrahamB/2012_Pond-6.jpg

Barton Fields now has the Thames flowing through it with ponds and new wet meadow under a good 18 inches of moving water. Maybe get some fish again in the ponds next year. Unfortunately I put my field camera out by pond 4 on Xmas Eve and at 11.55pm on Christmas Day it disappeared under water. Retrieved Boxing Day afternoon after I got some waders and SD card still worked, but the camera was full of water - fingers crossed it will dry out.  And this morning a pair of Swans were by the bird feeders I set up on Xmas Eve.

Graham Bateman: 26 December 2020

Orchids around the A34 Hinksey Interchange


Abingdon Naturalists' Society member Michael Bloom has produced a report for the Ashmolean Natural History Society of Oxford on the results of his surveys of Pyramidal Orchids on the roadside verges at Hinksey Hill Interchange in Oxford between 2012 and 2020. Michael presents a thorough and detailed report on the orchid displays around the Hinksey Hill Interchange which have given pleasure to bus passengers travelling to and from Oxford and to passing motorists, as well as being of conservation importance. The Report (© ANHSO) is available on the ANHSO website by following links to-
special-interest-groups > fritillary > fritillary-9

November 2020

Revived Ponds on Barton Fields

GrahamB/2010_Pond_Clear_1.jpg GrahamB/2010_Pond_Clear_4.jpg

On Monday morning, two of the Barton Fields ponds, which had become completely overgrown with mainly vigorous Reed Sweet-grass (Glyceria maxima), were rejuvenated. We were 'loaned' a digger and driver by Fergal Construction Co Ltd, of Standlake, who have been working on the resurfacing of the Sustrans path running through Barton Fields. Ashley, the digger driver, was a delight to watch as he skilfully removed the top vegetation for stacking, then the roots and bottom mud that were delicately smoothed around the pond edges to allow any 'creatures' to return to water.

We now have two 'new' ponds that would have been lost as manually they could never have been dug out. Thanks deserved to Fergal and Ashley

from Graham Bateman: 21 October 2020

Return of Newts


On Tuesday evening, Smooth Newts had returned to my garden pond. It is amazing how quickly they have responded to just two days of mild weather after a week of a frozen pond. Await a big Frog run.

from Graham Bateman: 17 February 2021