Local wild places

See below for details of local wild places

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Orchids in spring in Bernwood Meadow

Bernwood Meadow and Forest

Bernwood Meadow is a wonderful nature reserve to visit from April to early July for wild flowers and butterflies. Bernwood Forest’s butterflies include species such as black hairstreak, brown hairstreak, marbled white, purple emperor, purple hairstreak, silver-washed fritillary and white admiral.

Farmoor Reservoir causeway - Reg Cox

Farmoor Reservoir

One of the top birdwatching venues in Oxfordshire. The combination of open reservoir, woodland, award-winning wetlands and meadows attracts a great variety of birds.

Tar Lakes - part of the Lower Windrush Valley Project

Lower Windrush Valley Project

The Lower Windrush Valley Project helps to manage two nature reserves restored from gravel workings and works with local landowners and communities to improve access, biodiversity and landscape in the valley.

The boardwalk through Lye Valley

Lye Valley

A ‘calcareous fen’, Lye Valley is home to many unusual plants that are adapted to this environment, including the orchid, marsh helleborine, and grass of Parnassus.

Lapwings over RSPB Otmoor reedbeds (August) - Lyn Ebbs

Otmoor RSPB Reserve

There is something to see whatever time of year you visit. However, there are few facilities you might associate with RSPB reserves; in particular, there are no public toilets on the reserve or in the nearby villages.

Horses grazing on Port Meadow, Oxford skyline in the background, wader flock overhead

Port Meadow

Port Meadow’s main attraction for birders is when it floods in the winter. A large number of ducks over-winter on the floods and there can be attractive mud flats which attract over-wintering and passage waders.

The scrapes at Radley Lakes - Reg Cox

Radley Lakes

The land around Thrupp Lake is open to the public, as is the Barton Fields Nature Reserve. The diversity of habitats has made it home to a rich and diverse profusion of wildlife.

A badger watching evening in Wytham Woods

Wytham Woods

The site is exceptionally rich in flora and fauna, with over 500 species of plants, a wealth of woodland habitats, and 800 species of butterflies and moths.