pocket park

Evenley Common Pocket Park is situated off Bicester Hill on the southern edge of Evenley village. It is registered common land containing scrub thickets and grassland. The grassland contains several rare species including Dark Mullein and Knapweed Broomrape. It is managed by a committee of volunteers 'Friends of EvenleyCommon', under the chairmanship of Merrick Loggin.

Access Point

Access for pedestrians at both ends of the site and some access for vehicles at the southern end of Bicester Hill. Rights of Way: None.

Suitability

Pathways are of an informal nature, but fairly level in most places.

History

Originally the land was alloted for stone pits in the Village Inclosure of 1780. The site is common land which was used for sheep grazing many years ago. In the years running up to the site becoming a Pocket Park it remained relatively unused, and suffered from illicit dumping of rubbish. Once the site became a Pocket Park a temporary fence (Now removed) was erected to prevent access by vehicles along most of the road edge.

Management Objectives

The grassland (a major habitat on the site) needs to be actively managed, to prevent the growth of tall herbs and scrub and to benefit the Marbled White butterfly. This is done by annually cutting in late summer and raking off the cuttings, which are placed in the midden (compost area) to encourage grass snakes. Another important habitat is the scrubland. This is managed by creating clearings to encourage bluebells, and cutting the scrub on a five year rotation to encouragement blackthorn regeneration in certain areas.

Special Wildlife

Knapweed Broomrape, Dark Mullein, Marbled White butterfly (a county rarity), visited by Fox and Muntjac Deer, Grass snake.

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