Vale of White Horse 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.
Chalk Downland and Slopes
Site Code: 38G01
Crog Hill and Scary Hill is a narrow bank of chalk grassland. Once common on the Berkshire Downs chalk grassland is now restricted to steeper areas banks such as this. Chalk grassland is a national priority for nature conservation. The northern end is largely unmanaged and the southern end narrows to a thin grassland strip next to a bank of very rich grassland which is managed as a nature reserve.
The richest parts of the site are where the grassland is short. When the grass gets tall many of the typical small chalk grassland wildflowers get swamped. Wildflowers found here include fragrant orchid, sainfoin, horseshoe and kidney vetches and yellow rattle. There are also some areas of scrub and planted woodland in the site.
Site Code: 38J02
This site is ancient woodland which means that it has been continuously wooded for at least 400 years. It has a canopy of many stemmed ash trees which have developed from old coppice*. There are also some oak trees in the wood. Such broadleaved woodland is a national nature conservation priority.
The wood is quite wet and in the north willows are common and large sedges dominate the ground. Wet woodland is also a national nature conservation priority and is rare in Oxfordshire. Elsewhere, although the ground layer has a large amount of nettles, a variety of woodland wildflowers have been recorded including greater butterfly orchid, early purple orchid and twayblade, which is a green flowered orchid. There are also many wetland wildflowers including meadowsweet, marsh bedstraw and greater bird’s-foot trefoil. There is also a large glade and wide woodland track with wet grassland.
*Coppicing is a traditional type of management where small trees and shrubs are regularly cut down to the ground producing a harvest of small branches.