Work Parties

The Group runs regular practical work parties looking after the Watlington Chalk Pits Local Nature Reserve, Watlington Hill and other local sites. Ridding the local woods of invasive Himalayan Balsam has been an ongoing project for many years. We also run smaller workparties on weekdays to tackle lighter tasks in the town, such as cutting back overgrown footpaths.

We are always happy to welcome new volunteers! 

Watlington Chalk Pits Local Nature Reserve

Watlington Chalk Pits is an area of land bounded by the Icknield Way to the west and Hill Road to the south and extends east beyond the Thames Water reservoir. The western part of the site is owned by South Oxfordshire District Council and the land to east around and beyond the reservoir is owned by Watlington Park Estate. The whole area, with the exception of the reservoir area, is leased by Watlington Parish Council, and is managed for the parish council by the Watlington Environment Group following the Site Management Plan prepared in 2003 by the Northmoor Trust.

A large part of the area falls within the Watlington and Pyrton Hills Site of Special Scientific Interest. The conservation objectives for the site are to:

  • Maintain the existing open areas of chalk grassland
  • Expand and connect these patches where possible, at the expense of scrub
  • Maintain the population of juniper
  • Maintain the mosaic of chalk grassland, scrub and woodland.

In 2003 the site was declared a Local Nature Reserve. It is open access on foot, with two public footpaths crossing the site and a number of other well-used paths through the site. The need to gain public support and interest in the site is recognised, with the need to provide on-site interpretation included in the management plan.

We have regular work parties on the site to clear scrub, keep grassland and potential grassland open and maintain the paths through the site.

Please contact for further information.

Next meeting:

Our programme is now largely suspended.

We will review the situation as it develops and endeavour to reinstate as many as possible of the postponed events later in the year or in 2021.


Upcoming work party dates:

We have now resumed some of our practical work - in particular clearance of invasive Himalayan balsam from local woodland.

Please email us for further information.

Download membership form:

WEG Membership Application.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [83.4 KB]
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