Landscape view of Otmoor RSPB reserve, Oxfordshire, May 2011

Upper Thames River Valleys

Upper Thames River Valleys

The tributaries of the River Thames, which weave their way through Oxfordshire, link countless sites and homes for wildlife. 

You will find few things more evocative and romantic than a riverside meadow in spring, filled with the heady bubbling of curlews, tumbling lapwings and 'drumming' snipe. 

Secretive otters and water-voles also find a home in the river valleys, dragonflies dart over the water and are found in nearby ditches and ponds. In spring some fields are filled with Oxfordshire’s iconic flower, the snake’s-head fritillary.

Our Upper Thames conservation is made possible by working with organisations, landowners and farmers to improve wetland sites, delivering more for wildlife and local communities. 

We’re enhancing connections - making sure individual sites work together and act as stepping stones through the landscape. 


PDF, 379Kb. Date: 1 April 2014

Futurescapes - Upper Thames River Valley

Explore the area

Find out what’s going on near this Futurescape, including places to visit, news and local events, plus how you can work or volunteer for us.

Beech trees in autumn, Nagshead RSPB reserve, England.

Nearby reserves

Reserves and other protected areas are a key part of Futurescapes. They provide core areas for nature to thrive and eventually repopulate the surrounding landscapes. The RSPB reserve in this Futurescape is:


Otmoor is a magical reserve of wet meadows and reedbeds. It is a haven in winter for thousands of ducks, such as teals and wigeons. In spring and summer, it is home to breeding wading birds, such as lapwings and redshanks.

Mumuration of starlings at the reed beds, RSPB Otmoor Nature Reserve, Beckley, Oxfordshire,
Starling formation at Otmoor Nature Reserve
 Reed beds, RSPB Otmoor Nature Reserve, Beckley, Oxfordshire
Reedbeds at Otmoor Nature Reserve
Landscape view of Otmoor RSPB reserve, Oxfordshire, May 2011
Landscape view of Otmoor RSPB reserve

Featured project

We're working to safeguard and improve special places for nature. Each Futurescape contains a range of initiatives in addition to our reserves. The combination of these creates better conditions for wildlife across the countryside.

Upper Thames Wader Project

Supporting farmers conserving wetland wildlife along the upper reaches of the River Thames and its main tributaries. Monitoring breeding waders with assistance from the local communities.

Redshank Tringa totanus, in breeding plumage, Geltsdale RSPB reserve, Cumbria,

Our partners

Futurescapes is all about collaboration. There are many organisations and people involved in managing land in the Upper Thames River Valleys. Our challenge is working together to find ways of making more space for nature. To achieve this we’re working with:

Saving special places