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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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: 78D03/2
Nettlebed Common is one of a group of commons in the southern Chilterns. The site has a variety of habitats most of which are national priorities for nature conservation. There are areas of heathland and acid grassland which are very rare habitats in Oxfordshire. Heather, tormentil, foxglove and heath bedstraw can bee seen in these areas. Lack of management over the years has meant that woodland and scrub have established in these areas though management is now aimed at restoring these important habitats.
Parts of the site are ancient woodland which means they have been continuously wooded for at least 400 years. These areas have a tree canopy of oak, birch, ash and beech and a good variety of woodland wildflowers including bluebell, wood sorrel and yellow archangel. There are a number of old pits where clay was extracted for brick making where ponds and bog habitat with Sphagnum mosses are found. This habitat is extremely rare in Oxfordshire. There are also flower rich grassland areas which are more neutral in character where harebells can be seen.
A wide variety of animal life can bee seen here. Dormouse, which is a national priority species for nature conservation, has been recorded in the woodland. Grass snakes, adders and lizards have all been seen recently. Toads, frogs and newts breed in the ponds. Many nationally scarce insects have been recorded at Nettlebed Common.
Site Code: 78D03/1
Priest’s Hill SSSI
This site lies at the edge of Nettlebed Common. The site has deposits of Pleistocene organic silts which are of international significance in the understanding of geological history.