West 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.
Site Code: 42C02
This site is one of a number of disused quarries in Oxfordshire that has good areas of limestone grassland habitat. These quarries are one of the main places where such grassland can still be found. Limestone grassland is a national nature conservation priority.
Limestone grassland typically has an abundance of mainly small and colourful wildflowers. Pyramidal and bee orchids, cowslip and the uncommon basil thyme are all found here. Where the soil is thin red hemp-nettle is found. This species is rare and is a national nature conservation priority. The quarry also has areas of scrub and damp patches with wetland plants such as ragged robin.
Wooded Pasture Valleys and Slopes
Site Code: 32S04
This site is a small valley with a variety of habitats including grassland, wetland and woodland. There is wet grassland with large numbers of southern marsh orchid, as well as marsh marigold and ragged robin, and drier grassland where betony and lady’s mantle have been recorded. The wetland is found along the stream and has good variety of wetland wildflowers including the tall colourful common valerian and purple loosestrife. These habitats are national nature conservation priorities.
The woodland is found on the valley sides along with some scrub. There are ash, oak, beech and hornbeam trees and woodland wildflowers including bluebells, violets and wild strawberry. The banks are quite acidic in places indicated by the presence of gorse and foxglove. Birds seen here include kingfisher, grey wagtail and great spotted woodpecker.
Site Code: 32S14
Area: 15.7 ha
This site is a long section of the bottom of the Glyme Valley along with some banks near the foot of the valley sides. The site has a variety of habitats including many that are that are national priorities for nature conservation. These are wet woodland, limestone and somewhat acidic neutral grassland, tall wetland vegetation and drier mixed broadleaved woodland.
With such a mix of habitats there is a good range of wildflowers and other plants. These include unusual ferns and the uncommon wood club-rush, bluebell and sanicle in the woodland, ragged robin in the wetland and betony and devil’s bit scabious in the grassland.
Site Code: 32T01.2
This site once had wildflower rich grassland but it is thought to have been ploughed and reseeded in the mid 1980’s. The site is waiting for confirmation of its status and has yet to be removed from the County Wildlife Site list.
Site Code: 32W01
This is a bank of limestone grassland along the valley of the River Glyme. Limestone grassland is a national nature conservation priority which is now mainly restricted to steeper banks such as this.
The bank has a good variety of wildflowers including common spotted orchid, cowslip, eyebright and salad burnet. There are good thick hedgerows with blackthorn and hawthorn and ash and ash trees and willow pollards along the Glyme.
Site Code: 32W02/1
This is a bank of limestone grassland along the valley of the River Glyme. Limestone grassland is a national nature conservation priority due to its rarity. It is now mainly restricted to steeper banks such as this
The bank has a good variety of wildflowers including wild thyme, field scabious eyebright, common bird’s-foot trefoil and salad burnet as well as an abundance of the distinctive quaking grass.
Site Code: 32X04
This area of riverside meadow has an extensive area of tall wetland vegetation dominated by reed grass and pond sedge. Such habitat is a national nature conservation priority and large areas are rare in Oxfordshire. Amongst the reed and sedge wetland wildflowers such as ragged robin and marsh marigold can be seen. Such areas are usually valuable habitat for birds.
Site Code: 32I01/1
Glyme Valley SSSI
This site encompasses two sections of the upper reaches of the Glyme Valley between Lidstone and Chipping Norton. It has a range of habitats including banks of limestone and somewhat acidic neutral grassland, marshy riverside fields, marshy flushes where water seeps out on the valley sides, ponds, scrub and wet willow woodland. Many of these habitats are national nature conservation priorities.
There is a good population of meadow clary in the limestone grassland. This rare species is found mainly in this part of the Cotswolds and is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside act 1981. On the more acidic neutral grassland lousewort, dropwort and tormentil can be seen. The marshy areas have an abundance of sedges and rushes and wetland wildflowers including marsh valerian and ragged robin. Birds seen here include willow warbler, barn owl and linnet. The latter is a national nature conservation priority due to the rapid decline in its population.