Species Conservation

Species Conservation

We have species-specific conservation schemes for some of our most important wild animals and plant

The species-specific schemes introduce farmers to the more general services of the green spaces team, often leading to additional conservation measures.

Barn owls

The barn owl scheme is run by volunteers and provides nest boxes for farmers and advice on land management.

We are grateful to inmates at Springhill Prison who construct the boxes.


Launched in 2002 with a £15,000 grant from Natural England, the Bat Conservation Scheme aims to:

  • increase general public awareness of bat conservation
  • involve a wide range of people in their conservation
  • improve our knowledge of bat distribution in the UK

In 2012, we secured £46,000 of Heritage Lottery Fund money to carry on our work for another 3 years.

Since the start of the scheme, 8 different species of bat have been confirmed, including a nationally significant breeding population of Bechstein’s bats.

Our partners in this project include the Bucks, Berks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT), landowners who have granted access to their woodlands, and Natural England.

Black poplars

Aylesbury Vale is home to over half the national population of the rare native Black Poplar tree.

We coordinate the National Black Poplar Conservation Group which promotes conservation through:

  • raising public awareness
  • planting programmes
  • genetic research
  • advising on tree management
  • establishing clone banks

Great crested newts

The great crested newt is the UK’s largest and most threatened species of newt.

Volunteers coordinated by Buckinghamshire Council visit ponds during the newts’ breeding period (February - July) to survey their numbers.

Buckinghamshire Council offers landowners advice on how to best manage ponds and surround habitats to the benefit of the newts.


The Buckingham Otter Spotters group conducts regular surveys of otter numbers in the Vale.

We are looking for volunteers to help us carry out more surveys.

Water voles

We work with volunteers, landowners and BBOWT to actively protect the last remaining population of water voles, located on the River Great Ouse around Tingewick.

Water voles were reintroduced 7 years ago and are surviving thanks to appropriate management of the habitats and robust monitoring.

We are looking for volunteers to get involved with this long-term project.