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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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: 21A01
Grid Ref: SP219113
Area: 2.36 ha
Westwell Gorse SSSI
Westwell Gorse is a small area of limestone grassland and scrub. It was established to benefit of the poor of the local parish. It is now managed as a nature reserve by the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust. Limestone grassland is an uncommon habitat that is a national priority for nature conservation.
Westwell Gorse is particularly important for its large population of the very rare downy-fruited sedge – the population is one of the largest in the UK. There is also a good variety of other grassland wildflowers including pyramidal orchid, dropwort, wild thyme and the uncommon purple milk-vetch. There is an area of woodland that was dominated by elm until the onset of Dutch elm disease. Here, early purple orchids can be seen amongst a carpet of bluebells.