Conservation status of the Trap Grounds
In March 2015 Oxfordshire County Council officially designated the western half of the Trap Grounds (a mosaic of woodland, ponds, grassland, and scrubland) as a Local Wildlife Site, to complement the LWS status already accorded to the eastern (reedbed) half of the site. The designation of the entire site is based on the diversity of its habitats, and especially its important habitats of reed bed and wet woodland; its communities of rare or uncommon species; its connectivity with Port Meadow and the Canal; its value for the appreciation of nature; and its value for learning.
Some of the data on which the designation is based can be downloaded here:
Trap Grounds Species of Special Conservation Concern
This summary, updated in 2012, is based on evidence supplied by specialist recorders and an independent report commissioned by The Friends of the Trap Grounds from WildWorks Ecological Consultancy. For full lists, see the booklet The Wildlife of the Trap Grounds (printed version available, price £2.00, please send us a request). All records post-date the 1980 watershed used by the County; many are very recent. They cover both halves of the Trap Grounds site: the reed-bed in the east (a Local Wildlife Site) and the area of scrubland, woodland, and grassland to the west.
UK Priority BAP Species (21): Water Vole, Soprano Pipistrelle, Common Toad, Common Lizard, Slow-worm, Grass Snake, Bullfinch, Cuckoo, Grasshopper Warbler, House Sparrow, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Marsh Tit, Willow Tit, Starling, Spotted Flycatcher, Turtle Dove, Song Thrush, Linnet, Skylark, Reed Bunting.
Species legally protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981 and subsequent revisions) (4): Water Vole, Common Lizard, Grass-snake, and Slow-worm.
Nationally Scarce, Local, and other uncommon invertebrates and plants (9): Current Nationally Scarce/Notable B species include the moth Buttoned Snout, the fly Siphonella oscinina, the soldier fly Chorisops nagatomi, and the moss Bryum dunense. Nationally Local species include the moths Scarlet Tiger, Blackneck, Round-winged Muslin, and Sitochroa palealis. Keel-fruited Cornsalad is a scarce plant with an uncertain distribution; there are only two post-1980 County records, and the record for the Trap Grounds is the only one for the City.
Birds of Conservation Concern (25): Red list: Turtle Dove, Skylark, Song Thrush, Spotted Flycatcher, Linnet, Grasshopper Warbler, House Sparrow, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Marsh Tit, Willow Tit, Starling, Cuckoo. Amber list: Water Rail, Jack Snipe, Snipe, Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker, Swallow, Dunnock, Nightingale, Stonechat, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Redwing, Brambling, Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Reed Bunting.
Oxfordshire Biodiversity Challenge Species (BAP Species: 28): Water Vole (Flagship), two Pipistrelle Bats (the species has recently been divided, and both are present on the site), Noctule Bat, Water Shrew, Weasel, Badger, Reed Bunting, Turtle Dove (Flagship), Bullfinch, Spotted Flycatcher (Keystone, although only a casual visitor), Song Thrush, Linnet, Skylark, Kingfisher, Nightingale, Snipe (Keystone), Sedge Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Water Rail, Grass Snake, Slow Worm, Glow-worm (Flagship), Banded Demoiselle (Flagship), Buttoned Snout, Emperor, Ragged Robin (Keystone), Yellow Loosestrife (Keystone).
‘Oxfordshire One Hundred’ Species (15): Water Vole, three bats, Reed Bunting, Turtle Dove, Spotted Flycatcher, Linnet, Kingfisher, Nightingale, Snipe, Sedge Warbler, Small Copper Moth, Scarlet Tiger Moth, Emperor Moth.
The scrubland also hosts 57 other invertebrate species of county or regional importance.
The photographs above, all taken on the Trap Grounds,Â show (1) Glow Worms mating (Guy Padfield); (2) Migrant HawkerÂ dragonflies mating (Diane Wilson); (3) a Speckled Wood Butterfly (Alan Allport).