Cuttlebrook Nature Reserve – a legacy to emulate

What the guys and all the volunteers have achieved over the past 30 years at Cuttlebrook Nature Reserve is incredible.  If there is a legacy that I can leave of such importance I’ll be well pleased.

Make sure you visit Thame Museum before 16th December to see all the photos and models and information about Cuttlebrook through the last 30 years

It’s inspirational !

As many of you will know I’ve spent time over the past 4 years arranging for volunteers to be planting trees any and everywhere – this winter it looks like we might be planting at least 4 areas and hopefully some filling in of hedges.

Since earlier this year we’ve built up a project around Hedgehogs.  Cute creatures who make everyone smile.  This project is progressing into encouraging residents to leave some of their garden wild in order to allow hedgehogs to thrive.  The conversation has definitely turned to encouraging bugs and beetles in gardens in order to feed our local hedgehogs naturally. 

Mike Furness (Cuttlebrook Conservation Volunteers) and I met earlier in the week when he invited me to talk at the Cuttlebrook Nature Reserve Celebration (to which I failed to turn up on time – but hey ho!). 

He raised the point that Cuttlebrook Nature Reserve is around 32 acres in size. Looking on a map and comparing that to the size of Thame it appears that Thame is around 12 times the size of the reserve.  If we assume that gardens take up just two fifths of the area then gardens could make up over 150 acres of land.

I had heard that the number of gardens in the UK added together make up more area than all the national nature reserves put together – and Thame is no exception.

We chatted around the subject quite a bit and have hit upon an idea that would be really powerful and effective.  It would be similar to our street champion concept but be bigger ! A street champion is someone who co-ordinates all the environmental ideas and projects in their street. They don’t have to do it all themselves, but they can share information with their neighbours on how to encourage hedgehogs, where to go to arrange a thermal image of their house and lots of other environmental schemes.

We’ve had the idea that between us – CBCV and 21st Century Thame – to encourage all the residents whose gardens back on to the reserve to add a hedgehog access hole into the reserve.

Mike even came up with a great name for it the ‘Fuzzy Boundary’ project !!

Obviously, the idea is just a concept stage and we both have to get permission from various stakeholders before it can become official – but immediately we could both see so much potential and we are so excited about it.

It’s great to be collaborating. It’s great to share visions and see them in harmony with each other. It’s just the start of a great idea, but if you know anyone, whose garden backs onto the Nature Reserve, please speak to them, get them excited about this collaboration and put them in touch with us. [email protected].

Let’s get our gardens rewilded and allow the wildlife that are part of our ecology survive and prosper