20 April 2019
A nature reserve found to be a breeding site for an endangered species of bird has been designated as a protected Local Wildlife Site.
Waterstock, near Oxford, is home to a population of curlews but is also an important site for otters, other mammals and some endangered plants.
The flood meadows near the River Thame has been surveyed monthly for the past three years.
In recent weeks 12 curlews have been recorded in the reserve.
Nick Marriner, from the River Thame Conservation Trust, said last year the RSPB estimated there were 10 breeding pairs in the entire Upper Thames area east of Oxford.
He said: "To have the majority of them in this area, highlights how important Waterstock and its flood meadows are both locally and regionally and how vital its wild and undisturbed habitat is.
"The iconic curlew is the UKs largest wading bird species and has one of the most evocative calls of all birds."