Everyone’s Evenlode

Water is essential to our survival, and healthy rivers provide vital habitat for wildlife to flourish. Yet if you don’t have access to a nearby river, it can be easy to not fully appreciate just how special a resource it is. Rising near Moreton-in-Marsh and running through or past attractive villages and towns including Shipton-under-Wychwood and Charlbury, the River Evenlode sweeps in a southeast direction to join the River Thames just below Cassington.

The ‘Everyone’s Evenlode’ project is enabling children, young people and members of the community to access, explore and enjoy their local river and its surroundings. We are working with local schools and communities to help inspire people to connect with their local stretch of river, learn about healthy river environments and nature, and act to take positive action to care for and ecologically improve the River Evenlode.


School visit to Didcot Sewage Works © Ros Marsden

Cotswolds National Landscape is part of the Evenlode Catchment Partnership (ECP) , which brings together partners and communities to look after their river environment. The project is helping to build community skills, understanding and find solutions to the problems that affect water quality, and develop new relationships with landowners. Together, this will help the ECP achieve its long term goal of bringing the Evenlode – a river and landscape that truly merits its place at the heart of our community – back to good ecological condition. The project is being funded by Thames Water, as part of their ‘smarter water catchment initiative’. There are four main work themes, which are being delivered in a collaborative and multi-partnered way:

    • Water quality and advocacy (delivered by Earthwatch for ECP)
    • Biodiversity, habitat, and landscape (delivered by Wild Oxfordshire for ECP)
    • Natural flood management (delivered by Wild Oxfordshire for ECP)
    • Education, access and recreation (delivered by Cotswolds National Landscape for ECP)


Rosalind Marsden, Ruth Rudwick, and Rowan Wynne-Jones.  Image ©Russell Sach

The education, access and recreation element of the project is being delivered by the Everyone’s Evenlode team, who are:

    • Rosalind Marsden, Education Officer (3 days per week)
    • Ruth Rudwick, Community Outreach Officer (2 days per week), and
    • Rowan Wynne-Jones, Education and Community Officer (3 days per week)

Creative Writing Competition 2022

Poster for Everyone's Evenlode creative writing competition

Throughout August 2022, we’re encouraging children to get creative and get writing!

This summer holiday, we’re inviting you to adventure to your local fresh water spot*, get inspired, and send us a short story, poem, or descriptive piece of prose!

Entry rules

Competiton is open to Children aged: 4 – 7 yrs / 8 – 11 yrs
Length of poem: 250 words maximum
Closing date: 31 August 2022
How to enter: Email the poem along with childs name, childs date of birth and parent/guardians contact details to evenlode@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk

We’re delighted to be joined by our special guest judges for the competition:

Octavia (Octavia’s Bookshop), Alex Evelyn (author), Simon Diggins (Thames Water) & Neil Clennell (conservationist).

*REMEMBER: Always let a grown-up know where you are, especially when you’re near open water.

Events

As part of our engagement work, we will be taking part and offering various events across the year. These are listed below.  If you’d like to find out more about these events, the project, or would like to be involved, please email evenlode@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk

When?
What?
Where?
Saturday 2nd July 2022 National Meadows Day Lower Hampen Farm, Lower Hampen, Andoversford, GL54 4JJ
Sunday 17th July 2022 Birds, Bees, Bats & Badgers Combe Mill, Blenheim Palace Sawmills, Combe, Witney OX29 8ET
Sun 24th July 2022 Stonesfield guided walk:
A Roman Villa and a River Valley
Starting point: Stonesfield Village Hall Car Park (OX29 8EF)
Sat 30th & Sun 31st July 2022 Charlbury Riverside Festival Mill Field Island, Charlbury, Oxfordshire
Sun 31th July 2022 Wychwood Forest Fair Foxburrow Wood, Foxburrow Lane, Witney,  OX28 1JD (OX29 8EF)
Wed 3rd August 2022 Wild Wednesdays: Pond dipping Combe Mill, Blenheim Palace Sawmills, Combe, Witney OX29 8ET
Wed 17th August 2022 Wild Wednesdays: Willow bird feeders and butterfly feeders Combe Mill, Blenheim Palace Sawmills, Combe, Witney OX29 8ET
Sun 21st August 2022 Stonesfield guided walk:
A Roman Villa and a River Valley
Starting point: Stonesfield Village Hall Car Park (OX29 8EF)
Wed 24th August 2022 Wild Wednesdays: Pond dipping Combe Mill, Blenheim Palace Sawmills, Combe, Witney OX29 8ET
Wed 31st August 2022 Wild Wednesdays: Willow bird feeders and butterfly feeders Combe Mill, Blenheim Palace Sawmills, Combe, Witney OX29 8ET
Sat 3rd September 2022 Morton-in-Marsh Show Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire
Sat 8th October 2022 Explorazone – IF Oxford Science and Ideas Festival Wesley Memorial Church, New Inn Hall Street, Oxford, OX1 2DH.
Sun 9th October 2022 North Leigh to Combe Mill Education Trail – trial walk Starting point: North Leigh Roman Villa, North Leigh, Witney OX29 6QD
May 2023 Open Farm Sunday TBC Sarsden Glebe Farm, Chipping Norton
OX7 6PL

 

Evenlode Catchment Project logo              Thames Water logo