A nature reserve in Bloxham will open its kissing gates to the public this month after extensive renovations to improve accessibility have been completed.
The Slade Nature Reserve, which lays to the west of Tadmarton Road, will officially open on July 15 after volunteers completed the upgrades paid for by a charitable grant of almost £10,000.
The money was provided by the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE) and funding partner Grundon Waste Management through the Landfill Communities Fund.
Work began in 2015 and includes the installation of new boardwalks, bridges and steps and the renovation of existing features.
Marie Jones, voluntary nature reserve warden, said: “We’re all delighted to have secured the grant, it has given us the means to transform an unmanaged wilderness into a managed and diverse wild asset that the local community will be able enjoy for many years to come.
“This has been a labour of love for the volunteers involved in the project who give their time to ensuring their local wild patch is looked after and appreciated.
“Thanks must go to the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment and Grundon Waste Management through the Landfill Communities Fund for their support, without which this initiative simply would not have been possible.”
Slade Nature Reserve was previously managed by the Berks, Buck and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) between 1986 and 2011. It was acquired by Bloxham Parish Council in 2015 following several years of non-management.
Fiona Danks, director of TOE said: “Projects like this are essential for local communities, providing local green spaces where wildlife can thrive and people can enjoy the natural world. We wish the project ongoing success.”
The public event to unveil the new works will take place on Sunday, July 15 from 2pm.
There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony with volunteers, villagers and friends of the nature reserve all in attendance.