|Warburg Nature Reserve|
|OS grid reference:||SU 720 879|
|Nearest postcode:||RG9 6BL|
|Usual work:||Coppicing, hedgelaying, bat cave construction|
Warburg Nature Reserve is the flag ship nature reserve cared for by the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust. Purchased on 1968 this 265.5 acre site contains a mixture of chalk grassland and ancient woodland, with occasional ponds. The winding valley of this reserve shelters it from gales, but often has ground frosts because cold air pools at the base of the valley.
Flora and Fauna
Over two thousand species of plants, birds, mammals and fungi have been recorded within Warburg Nature Reserve. This includes over 400 species of fungi.
Within the ancient birch, beach and sycamore woodland thrives wood anemones, bluebells and helleborines, including broad leaved, narrow lipped and violet helleborine. The chalk grassland is home to many flora including several types of orchids including birdís nest, greater and lesser butterfly, fly and pyramidal orchid.
Birds recorded at the site include buzzard, chaffinch, carrion crow, chiffchaff, dunnock, goldfinch, nuthatch, red kite, red-legged partridge, rook, pheasant, siskins, sparrow hawk, redpolls, marsh tit, blue tit, great tit, coal tit and long-tailed tit, great spotted woodpecker, wren, and wood pigeon. Deer and bats also inhabit the site.
Work done at this reserve includes preservation of the chalk grassland by removing sycamore and birch that are encroaching on the rare habitat and removal of non-native trees that had been intended to be cropped by a previous owner. Scrub clearance also helps to create grassland rides between the trees that in addition to allowing public access also provide the more important role of providing a thriving sheltered habitat for a variety of flora and fauna. Linking existing fragments of chalk grassland in this was also enables insects and flowers to recolonise areas they could not otherwise reach due to the woodland.
The chalk grassland is grazed in order to maintain the low soil fertility required my many native wild flora.
OCV have assisted at Warburg Nature Reserve through coppicing and hedgelaying to increase biodiversity at the site. We have also helped to build a cave for bats.
Leave the Oxford ring road at the Heyford Hill Roundabout heading South on the A4074 towards Reading. At the roundabout to Crowmarch, take the second exit towards Henley on the A4130. Before reaching Henley-on-Thames, take a left onto the B480 signposted Assendons and Stonor. At Middle Assendon take the left fork onto White Lane. At next junction follow sign to Bix Bottom using Rectory Lane. Continue on this road down steep hill and at grass triangle keep left. Keep going up the narrow lane. You will pass Valley Farm and some cottages on your left, followed by an old derelict church (not easily visible). There should be plenty of room to park along the roadside there, however if you continue 1 mile further up the valley from the entrance to Rectory Lane there is a car park for Warburg Nature Reserve on the right. Always use the car park when not on a task.