Nature Trail at Deer Park South

Muddy boots and happy faces as local schoolchildren enjoy new nature trail at Deer Park South

On Wednesday 17 April, the Year 1 schoolchildren from Windrush CofE Primary enjoyed an afternoon of fun activities, centred around the new nature trail at Deer Park South, Witney. Led by local artist and trail designer, Tom Cross, the children made nature themed prints using newly installed brass rubbing posts, sketched their surroundings, and hunted for local wildlife. 

Giles Hughes, Chief Executive Officer for West Oxfordshire District Council, said, “It is fantastic to see children exploring nature and relishing all that Deer Park South has to offer.

“We are pleased to unveil the new nature trail, complete with 8 animal-themed brass rubbing posts, specially designed by Tom and inspired by the children at Windrush CofE Primary School, with interpretation panels also soon to be added to offer insights into the site's wildlife.

“The Deer Park has been a sanctuary for wildlife for centuries, and we're committed to enhancing its role as a thriving ecosystem and a family-friendly destination." 

Deer Park South is owned by West Oxfordshire District Council and managed primarily by the Witney Woodland Volunteers, who have been improving the wood as an environmental resource for the benefit of wildlife and residents for many years. From autumn mowing and litter picking, to tackling invasive plants and meticulously pruning shrubs and trees, significant progress has been made. Moreover, the volunteers have introduced a diverse array of plant life to the site, including hedging, hardwood trees, woodland trees, wildflower areas, and an orchard containing fruit trees. 

The installation of the nature trail at the site aims to encourage families to visit the area and immerse themselves in nature through fun and engaging activities. 

In the last year, the Council has undertaken work to improve visitor accessibility at the site so that the site can be used by everyone all year round. This includes the installation of two accessible footbridges over Colwell Brook, improvements to footpaths, and the addition of a new bench near the Balancing Pond, all aimed at ensuring a more enjoyable experience for residents.  

The Funding for the work at Deer Park South comes from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. 

With improved accessibility and the installation of the new nature trail, Deer Park South is continuing to evolve as an area for us to connect with local nature all year round.  

Contact Information

West Oxfordshire District Council Communications Team

[email protected]