Rare birds and butterflies on the Oxfordshire border have been allocated a £230,000 habitat upgrade.

Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) is spearheading the project to create a home for endangered curlews and other species at its Gallows Bridge Farm nature reserve.

Additional steps to improve the area include making it more user-friendly, installing new educational signs and enhancing overall security.

The project is funded by a grant from the FCC Communities Foundation and will also see new residents such as skylarks, meadow pipits and yellow wagtails set to benefit from the soon-to-be improved territory.

BBOWT land manager, Mark Vallance, expressed his enthusiasm about the project.

He said: "We are facing a nature and climate crisis in the UK, and we urgently need to take action.

"That is why BBOWT has pledged to create more nature everywhere across our region which will benefit wildlife, people and climate.

"This project, generously funded by the FCC Communities Foundation, is a perfect example of that work, and we can't wait to get started."

The Trust has observed curlews nesting at Gallows Bridge Farm for a while now, but due to predators, their numbers are in decline.

However, the project means the Trust can now create a habitat where these birds can breed safely.

The team's first task will include creating 30 new pools known as 'scrapes' for the curlews to bathe and feed in.

Overwintering wildfowl like wigeon, teal, snipe and golden plover, in addition to insects like dragonflies, will also take advantage of the new wetland.

The next phase will see officers cutting back, or 'coppicing', vast swathes of hedgerow to create a more open habitat that curlews prefer.

This process will eventually benefit one of Britain's rarest butterflies, the brown hairstreak, which will lay its eggs on the new shoots as the hedges grow back.

The creation of new anti-predator fences will ensure ground-nesting birds such as the lapwing and the redshank are safe from predators like foxes and badgers.

In the final phase, the Trust will use night-vision cameras to monitor their progress during the breeding season, working alongside volunteers from the Upper Thames Waders Group.

FCC Communities Foundation, the not-for-profit business funding this project, has a history of awarding grants for community projects through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Penny Horne, spokesperson for FCC Communities Foundation, said: "We’re delighted to be supporting the Upper Ray Meadows Wetland Restoration Project and excited about the plans the Trust has in place to improve the nature reserve for wildlife and visitors alike.

"We’re looking forward to this (project) making a difference to the endangered curlew population very soon."