Oxfordshire farm transformed into natural oasis in £2 million project

  • Watch ITV Meridian's Juliette Fletcher as she explores Chimney Meadows

  • Additional pictures and video contributed by Ryan Ellis, Russell Savory, John Bridges and Jack Perks

Chimney Meadows, which was once a commercial farm in Oxfordshire, has been transformed into a natural oasis.

The arable fields have been worked on by the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust in a project which has taken 17 years.

Lisa Lane has seen the projects through despite difficult personal challenges and was recognised with a Marsh Charitable Trust award for wildlife restoration.

Lisa Lane, Living Landscape Manager said: "Stampscorn Ground is one of a number of fields which made up a commercial farm which we bought in 2003 because it was adjacent to a nature reserve called Chimney Meadows which had these internationally important wild flower meadows. We could see the opportunity to take some of the seed from there and create more flood plain meadows.

"I was diagnosed with breast cancer but all the time I could work then I did. I put my heart and soul into getting funding for our wetland restoration project and I wasn't going to sit around and not be there when it happened."

The £2 million project came to fruition last year when a 450 metre channel was built, bypassing an old Victorian weir. It will allow fish to move freely up the river and restore valuable wetland habitats.

Chimney Meadows is rich in plant life and home to some nationally declining birds. At a time when many natural habitats have been lost as land has been drained or built on, the sites are all the more important.