Milestone Infrastructure as, part of the Oxfordshire Highway Maintenance contract, were approached by Oxfordshire County Council to see if any assistance could be offered to one of their environmental projects at Standlake Common. The Lower Windrush Valley Project is supported by OCC to enhance a wildlife reserve for wetland birds, creating foraging and breeding space for lapwing, redshank, common tern and the little ringed plover.

Standlake Common nature reserve in West Oxfordshire began its story as a sand and gravel quarry. When the quarry was decommissioned in the 1990s, the site was converted into a nature reserve with a mosaic of wetland habitats and is now in the care of the Lower Windrush Valley Project to manage and conserve. To keep the nature reserve in the best possible state for wetland birds, the margins of the lake require careful re-profiling to maintain the islands and ensure a long, shallow shoreline for the birds to use for foraging.

Standlake Common After & Before

Standlake After Standlake Before

The Lower Windrush Valley Project has limited funding, so it has a difficult task to achieve its demanding conservation aims. In recent years the nature reserve’s shoreline has slowly become overgrown, which reduced its foraging and habitat benefits for the birds.

Milestone Infrastructure, working alongside their long-term supply chain partner Drayton Construction, volunteered to support the regeneration of the shoreline, offering free resources to enhance the nature reserve.

Standlake 3 Standlake Common 2

After an initial planning visit to consult with the project team an excavator was used to carefully scrape away the top layer of vegetation on the shoreline to re-create the bare and muddy surfaces which provide nesting and feeding habitat.

The successful restoration work regenerated the shoreline into a perfect home for wetland wildlife for many years to come. In the weeks since the work was completed, the wild residents of Standlake Common nature reserve have returned to the restored shore to forage and settle. 

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