‘Alice’s Meadow’ — the Otmoor nature reserve — that led Lewis Carroll author his Alice in Wonderland has all praise for its bird reserves. While the numbers of the wading bird are declining across the world, Oxfordshire’s Otmoor nature reserve has successfully heralded the endangered wading birds’ fortunes.
Declining dramatically for a long time, the snipe, lapwing and redshank have staged a comeback in the Alice’s meadows, — thanks to the early 1980’s campaigners, who had saved the Otmoor reserve from being developed as part of the M40 motorway, hence preserving its pristine bio-diversity.
The RSPB and the Environment Agency, saving the land from road-builders could buy 1,000 acres of farmland near Alice’s Meadow, eventually turning it back into wetland with the local farmers’ help.
And after that, there was no looking back. With only 80 pairs of breeding waders in 1997, in the whole of the Upper Thames Tributaries, the reserve now houses well over 200 pairs of the waders.
About 90 of these waders breed in Otmoor alone, which include five pairs of snipe – more than half the central England’s population. Ah! It seems, another ‘Alice in Wonderland’ can be written as a rich nature resource paradigm.