BBOWT and the RSPB are working together with farmers and landowners to conserve wildlife across the entire river catchment.

In April 2015 RSPB and BBOWT signed a new Memorandum of Understanding to work together in the Upper Thames region.

Thank you

The purchase and restoration of Gallows Bridge Farm and Leaches Farm were made possible by donations from the public of over £150,000, together with a legacy and major grants from:

Upper River Ray Living Landscape

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Upper Ray Meadows by BBOWTUpper Ray Meadows by BBOWT

The Upper River Ray area is one of the last remaining traditional floodplain meadows in England and a stronghold for wading birds.

This patchwork of meadows on the Upper River Ray floodplain holds a small breeding population of locally scarce wading birds, and BBOWT is working hard to encourage them to stay and breed here.

The purchase of Gallows Bridge Farm in December 2007 and Leaches Farm in October 2009 has more than doubled the size of BBOWT's Upper Ray Meadows nature reserve. The acquisition of these meadows at the heart of this low-laying wetland region brings the Trust one step closer to fulfilling its 30-year vision of returning the area to a Living Landscape for the benefit of wildlife and people.

Map of Upper River Ray Project

Wildlife and Habitats

The River Ray is one of the best areas in central England for wading birds such as:

The Upper Ray Meadows also has almost 20km of dense hedgerow that are home to birds and butterflies such as:

What BBOWT is doing

As part of the Ray Valley Restoration Project BBOWT and RSPB are:

  • working to improve river water quality,
  • creating new wetland habitats,
  • increasing community involvement in conservation across the River Ray landscape.

The work of BBOWT and the RSPB around the River Ray is already being recognised nationally for spearheading landscape-scale wetland wildlife conservation.

What to see and where to go

  • Visit BBOWT's Upper River Ray nature reserve. Be amazed by colourful wild flowers on the medieval ridge and furrow field at Cow Leys, or visit the bird hides at Gallows Bridge Farm. Request one of our Upper River Ray Living Landscape leaflets by emailing us.
  • Visit RSPB's Otmoor nature reserve.

Get Involved

You can get involved with the Upper River Ray Living Landscape project by:

Living Landscapes for all

A Living Landscape

Read our recovery plan for nature.

A-Z of Wildlife

Photo of Reed Bunting

Name: Reed Bunting

Scientific name: Emberiza schoeniclus

Category: Finches and Buntings

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