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.
Wooded Estate Slopes and Valley Sides
Site Code: 78D01
Bix Bottom SSSI
Bix Bottom is a large area of woodland, scrub and chalk grassland. Most of the woodland is ancient which means it has been continuously wooded since at least 1600AD. The woodland is largely typical Chilterns beech woodland though it is one of the more varied and species rich examples. There is much ash and some areas are more mixed with oak and birch as well as a variety of other trees. Woodland wildflowers found here include helleborines, herb Paris and greater butterfly orchid. Such woodland is national priority for nature conservation.
Chalk grassland is another national priority for nature conservation. The flower rich sward includes Chiltern gentian and a variety of orchids. The site has an exceptionally rich variety of fungi including many rare and uncommon species. There is also a rich variety of woodland and chalk grassland invertebrates, again including many rare and uncommon species. Butterflies recoded here include purple emperor and silver washed fritillary. The birdlife is also very rich and mammals found here include the rare dormouse which is a national priority species.
Bix Bottom is managed as a nature reserve by the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust. The reserve is called Warburg.
Site Code: 78E15/1
Berrick Trench SSSI
This site is a small area of ancient beech woodland though it has a more mixed canopy than much of the Chiltern beech woodland with much cherry and oak and a very mixed shrub layer and many old coppiced* trees and shrubs. The presence of wych elm is a particularly rare sight in the Chilterns and this particular type of beech woodland is rare in the UK. Ancient woodland means the site has been continuously wooded for over 400 years. Beech woodland is a national nature conservation priority.
On the ground there is a rich variety of woodland wildflowers including the uncommon herb Paris, Lily-of-the-valley and Solomon’s-seal. Other wildflowers present include bluebell, wood anemone and early purple orchid.
*Coppicing is a traditional form of management where small multi-stemmed trees and shrubs are cut down to the ground at regular intervals producing a harvest of small branches.