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.
Site Code: 50B02
Chiswell Valley is one of a number of valleys that cut into the hills west of Oxford. It has range of important habitats that are national priorities for nature conservation. It is managed as a nature reserve by Oxford City Council.
At the east end water seeps out of the valley sides and an extensive area of reed fen has developed. In the centre of the valley there is long established woodland with the typical composition of old woodland. It has a canopy of oak and ash with hazel and hawthorn in the shrub layer. At the east end there are banks of limestone grassland where wildflowers including the uncommon wild liquorice and bee orchid can be seen. Marbled white and brown argus butterflies are a common sight here.
Site Code: 50B06
This site is a valley that cuts into the hills west of Oxford. The valley sides have banks of limestone grassland where pyramidal orchids can be seen. In places on the banks water from springs and seepages spreads over the surface forming areas known as flushes. These areas are dominated tall sedges and reeds and the tall primeval looking giant horsetail. Wetland wildflowers are found here including ragged robin. Fen habitat ahs been recorded here in the past. There are also areas of woodland in the valley with hazel coppice* which is a typical feature of old woodland. All these habitats are national priorities for nature conservation.
*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.