Milham Ford Nature Park

                                                                          For those who aren't already aware of this (it seems there are some):
clicking on ANY blue text will take you to another website page, a slideshow, pdf, etc.



 Updated 19 April 2014

Dr Judy Webb winner of  Natural England Volunteering award - go to:
New Marston Wildlife Group
aerial view of the Park

Plan of the Park
with links to slideshows of the different areas


Unfortunately, 'Man's Best Friend' is not so helpful when it comes to wildflowers and fungi. Dog excrement, and even urine, adds nutrients to the soil making conditions more favourable for grass, which could then smother and kill off the wildflowers and the fungi

Also, roundworm eggs in dogs' faeces can survive for up to 5 years in the soil.  If they get into a person's system, they can cause total blindness - as with the toddler who lost the sight of an eye (click here) and a woman who had to have an eye removed 30 years after becoming infected (click here).


Fouling by dogs is an increasing problem in the Park - click here
To prevent any health risks and to preserve the flowers and fungi, please keep your dog on a lead so you can keep track of any 'deposits' and bag-and-bin them.  (There are red bins for dog excrement in the park.)

Research from a report from Bayer Animal Health revealed that 75 per cent of owners do not regularly worm their pet, while half don't clear up after their dogs.



Please don't bring any plants from your garden ponds to Milham Ford Park, no matter how attractive you might think they would be there - see 'Be Plant Wise' article.



Freshwater Habitats Trust
(Charity number 107708)

Find out why Britain's ponds
need our help.




Hairy-footed flower bees in

Milham Ford Nature Park


Photo by Judy Webb


These bees nest in holes in dry, sunny, banks, mounds or old walls.  The males  (one of them posed on Judy's finger) do not sting.   Photos taken by Judy Webb on 13 April 2014 are on Dropbox



Appeal against refusal by Oxford City Council of 2nd application for consent for a housing development close to the Park


The City Council's refusal was based primarily on the detrimental effect this development would have on the low- density sylvan character of the Headington Hill Conservation Area.  Plans included removal of all the trees on the site.


Comments submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by Dr Curt Lamberth, Chairman of NMWG, endorse those concerns but also argue that development of this land to the rear of 2-14 Jack Straw's Lane (access from Harberton Mead) would have a detrimental effect on the Nature Park's hydrology and consequently on its flora and fungi.

To see the comments submitted by Curt on behalf of NMWG (designated by the City Council as Friends of Milham Ford Nature Park ) - click here (pdf).



Volunteering - Sunday, 14 April 2014


Another sunny day brought out the butterflies and bees. More clearing of female Willow saplings, further trimming of the large female Willow, and some pond maintenance. Yellow Rattle seed was sown in areas where it has not yet established itself.


                  For photos, click here



Volunteering - Sunday, 6 April 2014


Peter Somogyi (left) and Gunes Unal with homes made by

 Peter for stock doves, jackdaws and kestrels.

Photo taken by Klara Somogyi

For slideshow of photos relating
to Judy's report (below) - click


We got on really well today – thanks to the enthusiastic helpers! All potential seed-producing female willows were re-pollarded to stop willow seedlings making us more work next year. Anybody needing the willow twigs for pea sticks please help themselves.  Male basket and grey willows were left. These were covered in pollen and nectar-bearing catkins and, just as we were packing up, a large queen buff-tailed bumble bee arrived to feast upon these catkins. What a joy to see!  Yellow coltsfoot flowers are nearly over and their silvery seed heads pepper the site - good food for seed-eating birds such as goldfinches. More than 150 Fritillary flowers were out in their special corner. Plus, it is a pleasure to report that the cowslips are coming into flower in beautiful swathes all around the site and a good few common spotted orchid leaves are showing already near the westernmost pond.

See photos on right

Peter Somogyi is to be congratulated for improving things for stock doves at Milham by installing a nest box. Hope they take up residence!

We also managed to cut back large, aggressive, brambles from the old yellow ant hills and raspberry canes near the old pond.  Young willows on pond margins were removed.


Even more frog spawn clumps were seen in the ponds, plus hatched tadpoles. The best of all, however, was a big clump (tangled mass) of TOAD spawn in one of the ponds!  This is the first time toads have spawned in the ponds in the five years since they were constructed.


The other amazing site was ‘Spring bee city’ – massed diggings and holes of solitary bees all along the hot, south-facing, sandy bank of the stream.


There is still more chopping of brambles to be done and a few willows need to be cleared, plus some digging out of thuggy plants along the stream corridor and around ponds.  So there'll be another volunteering event before Easter on Sunday, 13 April, 10.30 am to 1 pm.

All forthcoming NMWG events, including volunteering events, are posted on the Future Events page.







New Marston Wildlife Group

Future NMWG events in
Milham Ford Nature Park (and elsewhere)

Past NMWG activities in
Milham Ford Nature Park

History of the Park

History of the former Milham Ford School

Stream & Ponds

List of vertebrates & invertebrates found in the ponds

New! List of bees found in the park  pdf

Fungi - information including links to a list of species and a slideshow of photos, click here.

Flora and fauna - slideshows

The Bee Orchid Story from Milham Ford, Oxford
links to text and slideshow presentation are on Judy's own website.

Arable weeds of Milham Ford Park and why wildflowers are important

Judy Webb's list of plants found in the Park (version December 2013). There's also an Excel version of the list.

The Wildlife of the Park - Past, Present and Future: a talk given by Dr Judy Webb at the New Marston Wildlife Group 2012 AGM.

Judy Webb's involvement with Milham Ford Nature Park


Pond surveying, 23 January 2014


Dr Jocelyne Hughes and Robert Aquilina led a survey by students on an Oxford University  course in ecological survey techniques (Insect Taxonomy & Field Sampling Skills). The course was a collaboration between the Department for Continuing Education and the University Museum of Natural History.  For a slideshow of the event, click here.







For more photos of fritillaries,



Cowslip swathe - photo by Judy Webb



Common spotted orchid leaves