The Birds of Shotover
by Toni Whitehead, Ivan Wright and Andy Gosler
Produced jointly by Shotover Wildlife and
Oxford Ornithological Society
, this 128 page book (A5 with colour cover) is an
ideal book for anyone who is interested in the past and present bird life around Oxford. The main text is an authoritative systematic account
of the 149 species of bird officially recorded on Shotover: going back for over a hundred years (for example, Dartford Warbler bred on Shotover
in 1878!). The book also presents analysis of trends from recent detailed survey work, all placed within the context of national and County
trends. There are maps, colour photographs of habitats and many illustrations.
Copies available in local public libraries. Also available for loan to Shotover Wildlife Members from the SW Library.
Journal and webpage articles
Wright, I.R. and Bartel, T.W. (2017). Effect of varying coppice height on tree survival and ground flora in Brasenose Wood, Oxfordshire, UK.
Conservation Evidence. Vol. 14, 1-4. Full paper.
ABSTRACT: Coppicing is a commonly used management intervention to increase structural diversity in woodlands, but coppiced trees are vulnerable to
browsing by deer. We investigated the effect of coppicing hazel stools at different heights on the survival of trees, and also the species richness
of the ground flora. Plots were cut at experimental heights of 0.7 m and 0.8 m, with plots cut at 1.2 m and ground level as controls. All the stools
cut at 1.2 m were alive five years after cutting. In the plots cut at 0.7 and 0.8 m, some shoots were eaten by deer but less than 10% of stools died.
Less than 5% of stools in the plot cut at ground level survived. After 7–8 years, coppicing at 0.7 m and 0.8 m supported a higher species richness
of angiosperm ground flora than either of the control heights. We conclude that high-level coppicing offers a cost-effective opportunity to achieve
a rotation frequency that increases tree survival and supports a diverse coppice-woodland angiosperm flora.
Wright, I.R., Roberts, S.P.M. and Collins, B.E. (2015). Evidence of forage distance limitations for small bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae)
Journal of Entomology. Vol. 112(2), 303–310. http://www.eje.cz/pdfs/eje/2015/02/12.pdf
ABSTRACT: The distribution of ground-nesting bees was investigated using transects of water traps in a mosaic of nesting and forage
habitats at Shotover Hill in Oxfordshire, UK. The site includes a large area of ground-nesting bee activity and is adjoined on three sides
by floristic hay meadows. This study showed that the females of small bee species (< 1.5 mm intertegular span) that were foraging
in the hay meadows demonstrated a functional limitation to their homing range. The abundance of small bees declined rapidly with
increasing distance from areas of high density nesting; declining more rapidly than might be expected from uniform dispersal into the
surrounding landscape. By modelling the occurrence of bees along each transect it was found that the probability of observing a small
bee in the hay meadows was reduced to 10% at a distance of 250–370 m from the nesting habitat. The result emphasises the scale on
which habitat fragmentation will begin to impact upon bee diversity, and the relative contribution of managed “pollen and nectar” strips
to areas of nesting habitat.
Wright, I.R. and Gregory. S.J. (2006). The aculeate Hymenoptera of Shotover Hill, Oxfordshire.
British Journal of Entomology and Natural History. Vol 19. 65-76.
Wright, J.A. and Wright I.R. (2006). The Changing Bryophyte Flora of Chawley Brick Pit, Oxford.
ABSTRACT: The bryophytes (mosses and liverworts)of Chawley Brick Pit, Oxford were surveyed in the years 2002 and 2003, and a diverse bryoflora was recorded.
Higher plants and soil acidity were also recorded to assist with an understanding of the site. The bryophyte survey added 16 species to the extensive historical list for the pits, including the locally rare liverwort Pellia neesiana
. The natural succession that has occurred in the pits (1940-2000), from bare soil and acidic pools to woodland, is closely related to the industrial history of the site, and the results are placed in the context of these changes.
The site is notable for the regionally and nationally rare bryophytes that have been recorded there, and some of these remain, including Sphagnum species.
Factors relating to the future of bryophytes at the site are discussed. Full paper
Gregory, S.J. and Wright, I.R. (2005). Creation of patches of bare ground to enhance the habitat of ground-nesting bees & wasps at Shotover Hill, Oxfordshire, England.
Conservation website: www.ConservationEvidence.com
Ed. D. Showler.
Gregory, S.J. and Wright, I.R. (2005). Techniques to enhance the habitat of ground-nesting solitary bees and wasps.
British Wildlife: Habitat management news. Vol. 6, No. 5. 408-409.
ABSTRACT: Five years of new survey work on Shotover Hill (2000-2004) for aculeate Hymenoptera are presented and compared with newly collated historic records. This study has recorded 184
species, which when combined with the results of surveys in the 1980s, places the total of recently recorded aculeate species at 209. By comparison, in the years before 1939 an estimated
total of 203 species had been accumulated. Sixty two of the species that were recorded before 1939 have not been observed in recent years, yet the recent work (1980s-2004) has added 68
species (54 by this study). The nesting requirements of these ‘formerly recorded’ and ‘recently added’ species differ, and are shown to be consistent with the land use changes since the
1930s. Site quality scoring indices suggest that when compared with other UK sites, Shotover Hill remains an important site for wasps and bees. The all-time total of aculeate Hymenoptera
for Shotover Hill is calculated to be 271 species.
The following bound reports are also available for the purposes of education, research and conservation projects.
- The Birds of Shotover: an Historic Review. (Whitehead, A., Wright, I.R. and Gosler, A.G., 2003b. pp.126)
- Shotover Butterfly Survey 2002 (Julian, A., 2002. pp.21)
- Is Shotover Hill SSSI still nationally important for Aculeate Hymenoptera? (Wright, I.R. and Gregory, S.G., 2002. Interim Report. pp.15)
- Shotover Country Park Survey of Wetlands. No. 4 - Botany and Recommendations. (Wright, I.R. and Wright, J.A., 2000. pp.66)
- Shotover Country Park Survey of Wetlands. No. 3 - Botany and Recommendations. (Wright, I.R. and Wright, J.A., 1999. pp.62)
- Shotover Country Park Survey of Wetlands. No. 2 - Botany and Recommendations. (Wright, I.R. and Wright, J.A., 1998. pp.72)
- Shotover Country Park Survey of Wetlands. No. 1 - Botany, Hydrology and Recommendations. (Wright, I.R. and Wright, J.A., 1997. pp.92)
We also hold a number of undergraduate and MSc. dissertations resulting from project work on Shotover. These are all held with the permission of the authors, and may be loaned to members for reference.
- Heathland Restoration
- Small Mammals
- Vegetation Monitoring
- Wetland Management
Other publications and reports
Shotover Wildlife has a wide ranging collection of wildlife and conservation publications that are available for loan to members. This library includes new books, books that are now out of print, reports not normally to be found on sale, species 'keys' and some journals.