Judy being interviewed as part of a video on volunteering filmed by Oxford City Council - available here
(If there's no sound, check below video that sound is turned on.)
A short video, A Guided Walk at Cutteslowe Meadow, was filmed on 28 July 2020 by The Freshwater Habitats Trust. In it Ellie Mayhew, Southern Project Officer, explains what the Trust is doing at Cutteslowe to best manage the site for freshwater wildlife in collaboration with Oxford City Council, local expert Judy Webb, and others. Information given in that video is also summarised here.
New important site record for Aston Rowant NNR
Devil's bolete Rubroboletus satanas, UK Red List fungus
found by Judy late summer 2020, verified by expert Alan Hills
'Most exciting fungal discovery of my 9 yrs so far surveying for NE there'
For Judy's tweet and photos, see Aston Rowant page
19 October 2020 Three tweets with photos by Judy of great work being done by 23 volunteers in the Lye Valley 'South Fen', land which is privately owned. Thanks to Natural England, there is an agreement for this area to be managed for conservation by the owners together with Oxford City Council (who carried out recent cutting). Judy explained the importance of this area: '22 plant species on the county rare plants register, including 1000s of marsh helleborine orchids & 1051 flowers of grass of Parnassus recently. Too small at 0.5ha, so edges need to be brought back to more sp. diversity by scything rank margins, so that greenhay from rich centre can be moved there to drop seed. Marsh lousewort was all saved from hay & spread to rank areas. 6 drag bags of seed-rich hay are to go up to N fen, 600m away. As always we found golf balls (golfers hit over fen) - 3 bags. Big thanks to volunteers! '.
18 October 2020 Judy Webb's explanation of work on the Lye Valley interception ponds and structures in the Lye Brook
10 October 2020
Lovely weather for Hinksey Heights fen volunteers scything, raking and spreading hay containing marsh lousewort, Pedicularis palustris* seed on areas that do not already have this plant. In the first of the photos by Judy Webb members of the public walking by can be seen watching the rakers at work. *See Judy's explanation of the benefits of this plant in fen restoration.
See also Judy's tweet on peat in the Lye Valley
6 October 2020
'accumulated over 1000s of yrs, 1mm/yr average rate & is huge carbon store'
and another on
15 October, when Oxford Brookes students and lecturers came to investigate the
history stored in the peat in the North Fen.
27 August 2020 Cutteslowe Ponds
Judy is seen here introducing some creeping marshwort plants to the ponds. Helosciadium (formerly Apium) repens is one of the species for which she is Flora Guardian within the Oxfordshire Flora Group - photos here
During the same visit to Cutteslowe, Judy joined Ellie Mayhew, Regional Project Officer for The Freshwater Habitats Trust, and some Oxford City Council Volunteers led by Carl Whitehead, Coordinator of OCC Volunteers, planting out greater water parsnip plants in ponds caged off to protect them from deer, and clearing unwanted vegetation.
Photos, mostly taken by Judy, are here. Cutteslowe ponds are part of the Freshwater Habitats Trust's Oxfordshire's Priority Ponds project.
20 May 2020 - visit to Long Mead Local Wildlife site - photos here
Judy visited Long Mead Local Wildlife Site at the invitation of the owner, Catriona Bass. The LWS is adjacent to the Thames near Eynsham and the Swinford toll road. Judy described it as being at the 'sheets of flowering buttercups' stage:
'We walked through Catriona's meadow and some neighbouring floodplain meadows to discuss her Meadow Restoration Project* to work with landowners to diversify nearby floodplain meadows using green hay from Long Mead. I first walked through Long Mead and recorded the vegetation in summer 1978 in my very first paid job as a meadows surveyor for NCC.** Of course, I cannot remember her individual meadow but Catriona has my data. It still has most of the species I found but seems to have lost the devil’s bit scabious, which is a pity'.
* During 20 years of farming Long Mead, Catriona had noticed a dramatic decline in wildlife species, which was the motivation for launching two nature recovery initiatives – The Thames Valley Wildflower Meadow Restoration Project and Long Mead Biodiversity Research Project. For more information see her report of 16 Sept 2019 on Creating a Nature Recovery Network in Eynsham, which gives her contact details at the end. NOTE: due to COVID-19 restrictions, the June 'Back Garden Wildflower Workshops' referred to had to be postponed.
** The Nature Conservancy Council (NCC) was replaced by English Nature (EN) in 1991. English Nature was merged with the Countryside Agency and Rural Development Service in 2006 to form Natural England (NE), the Government’s adviser for the natural environment in England.
18 April 2020:
Another find during daily walk - Judy reported: 'I discovered a dandelion species (microspecies) new to the county at the end of my road in Kidlington. Bertha’s dandelion, Taraxacum berthae. Also way out of normal range. May have come in on soil. Benefits of lockdown botany!' See Tweets and photos
9 April 2020:
While taking her daily exercise walk Judy found some bulbous meadow grass, Poa bulbosa. As she tweeted, there is 'only one previous County record, according to BSBI Maps and County Recorder'. See her Tweets and photo
18 February 2020:
Judy was at Barracks Lane Meadow SLINC (to the NW of Cowley Marsh Park) with volunteers tackling the overgrowth of blackthorn - see Cowley Marsh Park page.
The Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust's Wild Oxford Project
Judy has been involved in BBOWT's Wild Oxford project since it began in 2014. She is the ecology advisor and was contracted to prepare yearly surveys and reports for each of the first four sites involved - Lye Valley, Cherwell Valley, Rivermead Nature Park and Raleigh Park - until 2019. Now that the fundamental work to improve those sites has been completed, BBOWT will take over the monitoring, but Judy will be providing yearly advice on management plans. In addition, she joins in the volunteering work on each of those sites.
Judy appears in a short video filmed in Rivermead Nature Park by BBOWT about their Wild Oxford Project in August 2019, first seen with white hat, busy with orange-rimmed net and later explaining her involvement in the project. Andy Gunn, BBOWT’s Community Wildlife Manager (Oxfordshire) and Wild Oxford Project Officer, as well as Carl Whitehead, Parks Ranger and Coordinator of Volunteers for Oxford City Council, whom Judy works with volunteering on Wild Oxford sites and other parks and wildlife sites in Oxford, are among others who feature in it.
In the video Judy explains the two different aspects of her work for the Wild Oxford Project: contracted work to give ecological advice and provide yearly reports on the sites and the species they support, and secondly, doing voluntary work with various groups on the sites.The photo, taken from from the the second part of that video, which automatically plays after the first, shows Judy (white hat) talking to other volunteers at Rivermead Nature Park.
LV planning applications
Judy's areas of special expertise are pollen identification, pollinators, field mycology, vascular plants, bryophytes, flies (Diptera), meadows, especially floodplain meadows, calcareous grassland, meadow restoration, fens, fen restoration and peatlands generally.
Following time spent as a teacher of Biology, she was involved for 9 years in forensic environmental trace evidence surveys. A founder member of the New Marston Wildlife Group (now Friends of Milham Ford Nature Park), she is now an enthusiastic Oxford freelance ecologist and species recorder with a special interest in rare wetland plants, as well as flies and bees, although her interests also extend to other insects and fungi.
More about Judy
COWLEY MARSH PARK
Judy has submitted objections to planning application P20/V1392/FUL for 69 Yarnells Hill, OX2 2BG.
See also her 2018-2019 report
on Raleigh Park for BBOWT's Wild Oxford Project
BBOWT WILD OXFORD PROJECT
Reports prepared by Judy on
Wild Oxford Project sites can be found under the heading 'Read the Wild Oxford project reports' near the bottom of this BBOWT website page.
BBOWT event held at the University of Oxford's Museum of Natural History on 26 Sept 2018 to show progress over the last five years:
Dipterists Forum - see FLIES