Helping maintain and preserve
one of Banbury's ancient roads
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Salt Way Activity Group

Created in 2017, the Salt Way Activity Group was setup to help preserve and maintain the two mile stretch of the Salt Way as it passes the southern side of Banbury.

What is the need for the group?

A lot of the adjacent land is going for housing so there will be multiple ownerships and the risk is that no one will take responsibility.  It is a bridleway and Sustrans route so Highways are ultimately responsible for some of its upkeep, cutting back hedges etc but they are increasingly taking a back seat, are slow to respond to requests for work and will not be pro-active, and have a tight budget.

The route and adjacent land could serve as a green gym and a catalyst for communities to work together; including local schools.  Its nature conservation interest could be enhanced both visually and as a habitat, litter could be kept under control and associated woodland, ditches etc maintained.  We could also act as a pressure group to see that adjacent footpaths are suitably developed in an enhanced way.

We have a lot of people locally who could help with bat, bird, flora records etc.  The Salt Way was at one time a valued habitat for the white hairstreak butterfly.

Volunteering – the benefits to you

Volunteering offers everyone the opportunity to transfer your skills, learn how to identify identify, plants, shrubs, trees or how to manage areas to enhance the habitats and landscape.  As well as making a difference to our community and it also offers real benefits to your health and wellbeing too.

Volunteering activities have been shown to improve your fitness and enhance mental wellbeing by combining outdoor exercise, increased contact with nature and the social benefits of group activity.

Activities you can participate in include:

  • Cutting ivy off trees and shrubs adjacent to the way, to reduce incidences of windblow.
  • Coppicing trees and shrubs.
  • Hedge laying and creating new habitat.
  • Letting light into areas periodically to encourage woodland flowering plants.
  • Grant applications, letter writing, updating records, creating species management plans etc.
  • Monitoring and learning about birds, butterflies, plants, reptiles etc.
  • Reporting problems on the way.
  • Tree and shrub planting.
  • Planting out plug plants to increase the variety of native plants - a nectar source.
  • Managing grassland - scything to encourage diversity; an almost meditative practice.
  • Build bird and bat boxes for placement along the Salt Way.

Our Aims

Survey what we have, trees, shrubs, flora, fauna

Research history and flora records.

Draw up a management plan (5-10 years) taking into account current usage, potential for enhancement and get approval to implement.

Keep an eye on planning development and use this to enhance what we have.

Seek grants/funding  to help implement plan and train volunteers.

Have monthly ‘Green gym’ workshops to plant trees, shrubs, wildflowers; to coppice trees, clear litter and other identified work, lay hedges, cut and create meadow  – in accordance with our yearly work plan.

Monitor birds, butterflies etc.

Publicise what we do, and why we do it

Encourage participation by local people, schools etc.

Liaise with other interest groups

Salt Way Activity Group run by Volunteers

Our Supporters

The Salt Way Activity Group in Banbury is able to work with local people and communities to improve their health, surroundings and outdoor places because of the generous support of many different organisations – thank you.
banbury-tc
occ
wt
chdc
bodfest
Bodicote Parish Council support The Salt Way Activity Group
cherwell-lottery