Cllr Jo Robb, Chair of South Oxfordshire District Council, joined up with Earth Trust, as one of her chosen charities for this year, and began her fundraising by helping to launch sponsored Autumnal Walks that celebrate the beautiful wildlife in our district.
Earth Trust has identified a 10-kilometre and 5-kilometre walk to help residents and visitors take time out and reconnect to woodlands. The 10-kilometre walk takes in Earth Trust’s Clomp the Clumps family activity sheet which includes information and child friendly quizzes to encourage exploration of nature.
Cllr Robb walked along the 5-kilometre trail joined by Jayne Manley, Chief Executive of Earth Trust, as well as her fellow district councillors and friends. The route took the group into Broad Arboretum, with 49 native trees and shrubs, which are currently displaying wonderful autumnal colours. The group also made their way to Neptune Wood to see the trees that were planted to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar and the death of Nelson, and to look at the series of maritime-themed willow sculptures.
The 10-kilometre walk takes visitors around the Trust’s Wittenham Clumps, which date back to the Iron Age, and through Little Wittenham Wood, one of Europe’s most important places for wildlife and a haven for insects, birds, mammals and the protected great crested newt. It also takes people down to the Trust’s River of Life project, a wetland area, where everyone can enjoy looking out for damsels, dragonflies, herons and kingfishers.
Cllr Robb said: “As Chair of the council I’m very excited to be able to help support Earth Trust this year. The Trust plays an important role in protecting and restoring our local natural environment and gives us all the opportunity to enjoy beautiful green spaces to benefit our own health and wellbeing. Autumn is such a colourful and beautiful season to explore nature at its best, so I hope everyone is able to get out this half term to enjoy these walks.”
Join Cllr Robb in raising funds for Earth Trust and help meet the £2,500 target by taking part in your own sponsored Autumnal Walk between 25 October and 30 November.
Register your team online for £5 at www.earthtrust.enthuse.com/cf/sponsored-autumnal-walk and on the day of your choice come and complete your preferred walking route: family friendly, accessible, or the full 10 km. All money raised will be going directly to Earth Trust as part of Cllr Robb’s fundraising to help care for the charity’s precious woodlands and to plant more trees for future generations to enjoy.
Jayne Manley said: "We are incredibly grateful to Jo for nominating us as a South Oxfordshire charity of the year. Earth Trust's green spaces are havens for wildlife, provide vital natural solutions to combat climate change, as well as offering us all a place to take a break from our busy lives. Taking part in this sponsored walk is a fantastic opportunity to join a growing community of people that recognise the importance of connecting with and caring for our environment – we have loved developing these three routes for everyone to take part, have fun and keep fit at the same time!”
Help Cllr Robb raise funds for Earth Trust this autumn to care for the incredible green spaces they provide to the public. Register your team at www.earthtrust.enthuse.com/cf/sponsored-autumnal-walk and on the day of your choice come and complete your preferred walking route: family-friendly, accessible, or the full 10km. A stunning walk awaits you and your team, through woodlands and farmland, along riverbank or lakeshore, and all while raising funds for a very worthwhile cause. Let's get walking this autumn!
Details of the three specially designed routes:
- The 10km route will take them round the Clumps and through Little Wittenham Wood – families will be able to connect to the Clomp the Clumps activity trail from the map app.
- The Clumps are steeped in history, with Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman evidence being found on site. The curved ramparts of Castle Hill show the Iron Age hill fort.
- The name Wittenham Clumps come from the ‘clumps’ of beech trees which crown both hills; these are the oldest known planted hilltop beeches in England, dating back over 300 years. This famous landmark has been known by many names over the years, from Berkshire Bubs, reflecting the fact that the Wittenham Clumps once fell within the county of Berkshire, to the slightly unusual Mother Dunch’s Buttocks, a name which refers to a lady of the Dunch family who owned Little Wittenham Manor in the 17th century. They are also known as the Sinodun Hills.
- Little Wittenham Wood
- one of Europe’s most important places for wildlife. All dappled sunlight and wide, open rides, it’s alive with wildlife. There are also plenty of opportunities for den building!
- particularly important for the great crested newt.
- New ponds that were created as part of our River of Life project
- River of Life I – the route will take participants on a footpath past River of Life I, our first wetland creation project – might spot damsel and dragonflies, or heron and kingfishers.
- The 5km route includes Broad Arboretum and Neptune Wood
- Broad Arboretum - A meandering path takes you through this living library which has every tree and shrub species native to Oxfordshire and many early introductions as well – 49 species in total! The best time of year to visit the arboretum is in autumn when it comes alive with a burst of beautiful colours.
- Neptune Wood - created in 2005 as part of a nation-wide project to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and the death of Nelson. It is named after HMS Neptune. As well as planting these trees Earth Trust also built a series of maritime-themed willow sculptures which can be found in the open area between the car park and the wood. They represent: HMS Neptune, three cannonballs, a telescope and an anchor.