Vale of White Horse Parishes
St. Helen Without
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: 49U01
Dry Sandford Pit SSSI
This disused pit is managed as a nature reserve by the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust. It is a classic example of how disused quarries can be of great importance for nature conservation. It is important both for the presence of important geological features and rare habitats and species. Quarrying has led to the exposure of rocks and associated fossils that play an important role in the understanding of geological history. The habitats include fen, shallow pools, acid grassland, scrub and lichen heath. Fen and acid grassland are rare in Oxfordshire and are national priorities for nature conservation.
There is a concentration of fens in this part of Oxfordshire. Here the fen has developed in the bottom of the pit where springs rise. There is a particularly fine display of marsh helleborine here. Acid grassland is found on the dry sandy soils and has unusual plants found only in this part of the county. The site is very important for its insects especially bees and solitary wasps (related but very different from the familiar yellow and black wasps) which nest in the quarry face and open sandy soils. Five nationally rare species are found here.