Press release: Bioabundance calls for new National Park north of Oxford

Bioabundance has put together a plan for a 36 sq mile National Park to the northeast of Oxford. It would create economic, social, mental, and physical benefits for residents, close to where they live.

The Government has called for new National Parks, in its Environment Bill and in its 10-point plan: the Green Industrial Revolution. Bioabundance asks local authorities, the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, businesses, charities and environment groups to work together to make this happen for Oxfordshire.

This nature recovery zone would halt the catastrophic loss of wildlife and reduce the detrimental effect of large new developments around Oxford.  The right kind of trees would be planted to promote carbon capture and natural flood defences.

The proposed Park encompasses Otmoor and the ancient royal forests of Bernwood and Stowood. This is a beautiful area with few major roads, between Oxford, Bicester, Kidlington and Wheatley. Over a quarter of a million people live within 10 miles of this area. Easy access would be offered through a new network of sustainable transport links, including foot and cycle paths from train stations and from Park and Ride.

Oliver de Soissons drew up the plan. He says, ‘We have seen how climate change is causing more frequent and severe flooding across Oxfordshire. New tree-planting in this large Park would help to absorb flood water at a fraction of the cost that goes into the engineered defences being built around Oxford.’

Sue Roberts, Chair of Bioabundance says, ‘ this Park would be a bold response to the Dasgupta Review published by Government on the 3rd February which calls for nature to be put at the centre of our economic policy.’

Sally Mears says, “What we have learned from Covid-19 is that access to nature is terrifically important for us all; it is vital for our mental and physical health. Providing it on our doorstep would be such a benefit.”

See a map of proposed park

Notes for Editors

The aim of Bioabundance Community Interest Company is to restore nature across Oxfordshire and build in resilience to climate change through changes in land-use and planning policy.

The concept of a regional ‘National Park’ comes from Natural England’s actions to create new large National Nature Reserves which include existing reserves and the land in between. The first one is The South London Downs NNR set up in July 2019.

The Bernwood-Otmoor-Stowood Regional Nature Park was first proposed by parish councillors and campaigners as part of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 consultation in 2019.

Contact:    Oliver de Soissons email Tel 01865 358133

                   Sue Roberts 07913 896 874,

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