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.
Lowland Village Farmlands
Site Code: 49T01
Barrow Farm Fen SSSI
Barrow Farm Fen is the southernmost of a group of fens that lie along the Sandford Brook. Water from the Brook and a spring feed the fen and deep peaty soils have developed. Much of the site is covered by wet willow, alder and birch woodland and willow scrub (known as carr) with tall wetland vegetation below. The fen habitat is found in open areas in the woodland. Both wet woodland and fen are national priorities for nature conservation.
The site has many fen wildflowers, such as marsh pennywort, parsley water-dropwort, bladderwort and fen pondweed, and uncommon rushes and sedges. Sedge warbler nests on the site and the uncommon water shrew has been seen here.
Site Code: 49N15
The remains of the salt spring at Marcham is both unusual and a site of great historical interest. Inland salt springs are very rare and the salty conditions support plants which are usually only found on the coast. At Marcham there is a good population of wild celery which is very rare inland. This is its only known location in Oxfordshire.
The site is now a damp area in the corner of a field. When it was a natural salt spring it supported a number of other salt loving species. The name Marcham is partly derived from the Anglo Saxon name for wild celery.
Site Code: 49U02
Along the Sandford Brook there are a number of areas of fen habitat and the greatest concentration of fens in Oxfordshire is found here. This is one of the smaller fen sites. Open areas of fen vegetation are found amongst wet willow and alder woodland. Fen and wet woodland are national priorities for nature conservation.
The fen has large raised tussocks of greater tussock sedge. Fen wildflowers present include marsh pennywort. There is a population of Desmoulin’s whorl snail which is rare and a national priority species.