Evenley Common (known as Pocket Park until June 2022) 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.
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.
Pathways are of an informal nature, but fairly level in most places.
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.
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.
Knapweed broomrape, dark mullein, marbled white butterfly (a county rarity), visited by fox and muntjac deer, grass snake.
2019 Report from the Pocket Park Management Committee
The Spring tidy up at Evenley's Pocket Park took place on Saturday morning (2nd March).
Nine persons volunteered their services- this was made up of the committee- Merrick Loggin, Michael Genner, Jackie Fox, Charles Reader and Joyce Stevens plus 4 residents, Carrie O'Regan, Charles Woodgate, Jeff Peyton-Bruhl and Tony Stevens. The weather was kind to us and we achieved our objective of cutting back trees and shrubs, strimming as many areas as possible, collecting the litter which was found at most areas of the park and checking where the badgers have made their setts.
The management committee thank all the volunteers for their valuable services to Evenley's area of nature and wildlife.
The Pocket Park management committee has disbanded and the the parish council has taken back responsibility going forward. Four new trees have been planted (March) and three more are planned in the Autumn as part of the Queen's Green Canopy (Platinum Jubilee). Low grade woodland maintenance will continue and a plan to slowly improve the area will be forthcoming.