Boundary Brook Nature Park

Boundary Brook Nature Park (BBNP) is former allotment land situated in East Oxford, which was returned to Oxford City Council about two years before it was leased to Oxford Urban Wildlife Group. Some of the allotments had been in use until the land had been given up but most had been disused for several years, in some cases ten years or more.

Home Wood

In 1988, about six months after Oxford Urban Wildlife Group was set up, the Chair of the Allotments' Committee announced that as interest in allotments seemed to be waning the Council was considering selling off redundant plots. As there is a lot of wildlife to be found on most allotment sites, Oxford Urban Wildlife Group lobbied the City Council to consider other non-development uses for the land. Two suggestions were that the land should either be given to schools or wildlife groups to develop as a nature reserves.

Photograph of Home Wood.

The Council responded by offering Oxford Urban Wildlife Group over two acres of redundant land; on East Ward Allotments. On production of a five year management plan, Oxford Urban Wildlife Group was given an eleven year lease at a peppercorn rent The land was fenced off in spring 1990, and on the 30th of June 1990, Oxford Urban Wildlife Group launched the Nature Park with an open day and litter blitz, which the public was invited to take part in.

Since the opening of Boundary Brook Nature Park, Oxford Urban Wildlife Group has both maintained the park and increasingly developed it as nature park. Oxford Urban Wildlife Group have created a wildlife park with a rich variety of habitats including woodland, pond and marsh area, wildflower meadow, kitchen garden, and a demonstration wildlife garden for the disabled. Boundary Brook Nature Park has over double the original two acres.

Oxford Urban Wildlife Group has since been awarded an OSCA award and other awards have followed. The nature park is now open to school groups, leisure groups and many local people who drop in on open days. Oxford Urban Wildlife Group encourage wildlife conservation by offering horticulture advice to the public, selling wildflower plants and seeds, doing botanical surveys, running bird and bat walks, offering practical information in its newsletter, by holding talks on a wide variety of topics and producing booklets like: 'Discovering Oxford's Green Places'. Oxford Urban Wildlife Group also used its knowledge to support the case for not developing the Trap Grounds, or building a golf course at Horspath, and intervening to stop the felling of trees along the A40.

You can watch a really excellent YouTube video about Boundary Brook Nature Park HERE

The nature park has won many awards including:

  • 1991- OSCA (Oxfordshire special conservation award) in recognition of the contribution to conservation in Oxfordshire.
  • 1992 - OSCA Commendation for demonstration wildlife garden.
  • 1992 ,1993, and 1994 - Nationally awarded certificates of commendation in the Colonel Sanders and Keep Britain Tidy environment awards
  • 1995 - Received a certificate from British Gas, and were runner up in the local Government Conservation In Action Awards.
  • 2004 - Oxford Preservation Trust environmental award.
  • 2011 - Oxfordshire Charity and Volunteer Awards. OUWG was one of three organisations nominated for the award for the Oxfordshire charity with the biggest impact on the local environmen.t
  • 2011 Oxford Preservation Trust Community Award. OUWG was the winner of the award for projects in and around Oxford that make a significant contribution to the conservation or improvement of the city's built and natural environment. Our prize was £500 generously donated by Minns Estates.
  • National and regional judges have visited the park as part of Oxford in Bloom and received favourable comment.