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: 68W01
Kingwood Common is one of a group of commons in the southern Chilterns. In recent decades oak and birch woodland has established over much of the common. Previously there was a mixture of heathland and scrub. Now there are only small areas where heathland remains and beside the trees bracken has also established more widely in heathy areas. Heathland is a rare habitat in Oxfordshire and is a national priority for conservation. Heathland is being restored here by the removal of bracken and thinning tree cover.
Kingwood Common has a rich variety of plant and animal life. Wildflowers found here include autumn lady’s-tresses, which is an uncommon orchid, heath-spotted orchid and common spotted orchid. In the woodland violet helleborine and wood anemone can be seen. A number of uncommon butterflies are found here including white admiral and purple emperor. Grass snakes and lizards have been seen at Kingwood in recent years. The site also supports a good variety of fungi and birds.
Wooded Pasture Valleys and Slopes
Site Code: 78A01
Peppard Common is one of a number of commons in the south Chilterns. There are important remnants of heathland habitat on the acidic soils at Peppard where heather and bell heather are found. This is one of only three sites in Oxfordshire where bell heather can be seen. There are also areas of acid grassland. These habitats are very rare in Oxfordshire and are a national priority for nature conservation.
The lack of management, that is usual of many of these old commons, means that scrub and woodland have established over most of the site and heathland is usually found only in small patches. There are also areas of bracken which also increases at the expense of heathland and grassland. Gorse is an indicator of acid soils and a typical sight on these commons.