A large area across Cookham is used for agricultural and related purposes. These areas can include important hedgerow habitats and other areas not committed to intensive farming which can provide homes for many insects, birds and mammals as well as wild flowers and trees. Finding a way to ensure that wildlife is supported in these environments presents particular challenges and WildCookham looks for ways to encourage large-scale landowners to support wildlife support projects.
Some local land is used for a golf course and there are several public areas, including allotments in Cookham Village, Dean and Rise as well as land owned by the National Trust. The extensive grounds of the Odney Club, owned by the John Lewis Partnership, also provide important important habitats.
(Photo credit: Winter Hill Golf Club)
Some 10 per cent of all land in the Cookham area is given over to domestic gardens, offering exceptional opportunities to encourage private house owners to do their bit for our wildlife.
The Wild About Gardens Awards were started in 2018 and are now an annual event, encouraging families across the community to make space in the back garden for some of our wildlife.
The River Thames circles Cookham to the north, east and west, whilst adjacent wetlands and interconnecting streams provide rich wildlife habitats. There are also ponds scattered across the community, with several wet year round. We undertake survey work to assess the quality of these and identify ways to improve their life-support capacity.
Our local woods, notably Quarry/Bisham Woods to the west of the parish, offer great potential for our wildlife – flora and fauna. Much of this area is owned by the Woodland Trust. Dialogue with them is intended to support their activities in maintaining these rich habitats and ensuring that they offer the best possible environment for relevant wildlife.
(Photo Credit: The Woodland Trust)
WildCookham is working with the National Trust to return some of the Cookham Commons to wildflower nectar-rich meadows.