Local Conservation

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The Association's origins lay in conservation of the natural environment, and as early as 1986 they subscribed to the Berks Bucks and Oxon Naturalist Trust or BBONT (since renamed BBOWT, 'Naturalist' being replaced by 'Wildlife'). A donation was made to a local arm, Reading Urban Wildlife Group. In the same year EGRA collaborated with CADRA on a 'Conserve the South Chilterns Committee', to consider boundary changes to the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Towards the end of 1987 the Council initiated its Cleaner Reading Task Force, and invited the Association to identify itself with a community project the following year to transform the woodland between Stuart Close and Surley Row into a wildlife conservation area. Extensive refurbishments of Emmer Green pond by the Council were undertaken in 1990 (below) to secure the future of plant and wildlife.

EGRA contributed to this a few years later when an area to the north was cleared, paved and a seat installed.

EGRA was represented at RBC's Environmental Forum in 1989, whose aims were to develop projects to make Reading a greener cleaner place in which to live. In the same year, Friends of Clayfield Copse, a pro-active voluntary conservation group, was set up to protect and conserve our local woodland. Although an entirely separate enterprise from EGRA, we have nevertheless maintained a very close relationship. For information on the groups' current activities visit www.econetreading.org.uk/clayfield.

FOCC's projects that EGRA has supported include three Woodland Days and a local art project. In 2003, the group's grant for the Woodland Day was rejected and the EGRA committee agreed on a donation of £100.

In 1996, under the guidance of BBONT/RUWG residents were invited to participate in a local reptile survey.

EGRA has closely monitored trees and hedgerows in the area, reporting areas of concern and encouraging replanting where necessary. A detailed catalogue of Tree and Woodland Preservation Orders is currently being worked on.