South Oxfordshire Parishes
The following wildlife habitats fall within this parish. They are listed according to their associated landscape type or local character area.
If you want more information about any of the sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) listed below, take a look at English Nature's Nature on the Map website. It may also be possible to find out a bit more about the unnamed wildlife habitats in the parish by contacting the Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre (email@example.com) and quoting the site code next to the habitat description.
The majority of these wildlife habitats are on private land and access to them is not possible without permission of the landowner, unless there is a statutory right of way. However, many wildlife habitats in the county are open to the public. More information on these can be obtained from the Oxfordshire Nature Conservation Forum.
Site Code: 68A10
Area: 2.1 ha
This site is a steep south-facing bank on an outlying chalk spur of the Chilterns. The site also includes a covered reservoir. The site is an area of chalk grassland and scrub rich in wildflowers and supporting a variety of rare insects including butterflies. Chalk grassland is a national nature conservation priority due to its rarity.
The site is particularly important for its population of the Adonis blue butterfly, which is nationally scarce and a national priority species. The uncommon chalkhill blue is also present. Six other nationally rare and scarce insects have been recorded here. There are also a good variety of other butterflies including green hairstreak, small blue, dark green fritillary and brown argus. Wildflowers that can be seen here include the uncommon bastard toadflax and chalk milkwort, horseshoe vetch, wild thyme, wild marjoram, common centaury and autumn gentian.
Site Code: 58V02
This island in the River Thames is covered by wet willow woodland along with poplars, ash, sycamore and field maple. There is a good variety of wetland and woodland wildflowers including twayblade, which is a green flowered orchid, bugle, creeping jenny and enchanter’s nightshade. Wet woodland is a national priority for nature conservation and is rare in Oxfordshire.
Most importantly the site has a very large population of the rare Lodden Lily estimated to be in the region of 800,000 in number. This wildflower is found mainly along the Thames in Oxfordshire and Berkshire and along the River Lodden which gives the plant its name.
Wooded Estate Slopes and Valley Sides
Site Code: 68A03
This site is a steep bank lying along the Chilterns escarpment. Chalk grassland is found here. This habitat is now mainly found on steeper areas such as this and is a national priority for nature conservation.
The bank has a good variety of chalk grassland wildflowers including marjoram, centaury and yellow-wort. There are also recent records of kidney vetch which is the foodplant of the uncommon small blue butterfly which was seen at the same time.
Site Code: 67E01
Area: 42.2 ha
Hartslock lies on the southern Chiltern escarpment in a prominent position overlooking the Goring Gap where the River Thames flows through the valley dividing the Berkshire Downs and Chilterns. At the northern end there are steep banks of chalk grassland while to the south the slopes are covered in yew woodland. Both are national priority habitats due to their rarity. Yew woodland is a particularly unusual sight.
The chalk grassland has a good variety of chalk grassland wildflowers such as chalk milkwort, horseshoe vetch, rockrose and the uncommon bastard toadflax. The site also has a legally protected and national nature conservation priority orchid. There are good numbers of butterflies including Adonis blue, a national priority for nature conservation, chalkhill blue and small blue.
The woodland is ancient which means that it has been continuously wooded since 1600AD. Besides the yew it also includes areas with beech, ash and hazel. Woodland wildflowers, such as narrow-lipped helleborine, are restricted to the more open areas. Elsewhere the shade from the yew and beech is too strong for many wildflowers to grow.
Other habitats present include areas of scrub and tall wetland vegetation at the base of the slope next to the Thames. Here the nationally scarce Lodden lily is found which is found mainly along the Thames in Oxfordshire and Berkshire.