Nature Reserves

Gallery pictureGallery pictureGallery pictureGallery pictureGallery pictureGallery picture

Wytham Woods, OxfordWebsiteStreet MapGoogle Map

Wytham Woods
Managed by:University of Oxford
OS grid reference:SP 460 090
Nearest postcode:OX2 8QQ
Usual work:Scrub clearance, badger census

Wytham Woods contains calcareous grassland, around 416 hectares of ancient and seconday semi-natural woodland, and around 600 hectares of experimental farmland. Wytham Woods is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) that has been used by the University of Oxford for conservation reseach since it was donated to them by Raymond Ffennell 1943. Of particular ecological and scientific interest is the large number of badgers living at the site.

Flora and Fauna

Wytham Woods contains areas ancient broadleaved deciduous woodland, secondary woodland predominantly of sycamore and ash, and plantations primarily of beech that are reverting back to natural woodland. There is also calcareous grassland and areas of scrub. Fallow, Roe and Myntjac deer are allowed to roam the majority of the woodland, where they control invasive brambles and hawthorn. Wytham Woods is reported as being home to one of the densest badger populations in the world, making the site extremely important.

Conservation Management

The woodland is allowed to develop naturally but is closely monitored to ensure that it remains diverse, while deadwood is left to crease habitat for invertebrates. Organic farming of the experimental farmland assists the maintenance of habitats at the site. OCV have assisted at Wytham Woods by raking up grass and cutting scrub in order to help widen the rides to increase the biodiversity and access in this beautiful hilltop woodland. OCV have also assisted with the annual badger census at the site.

Location

Leave the A34 section of the Oxford ring road at the turning for Wytham and Godstow. (This is one junction further North than the Botley Interchange, where the A420 to Swindon meets the A34.) Drive though Wytham and head towards Swinford. Wytham Woods is just to the West of Wytham, where the road bends sharply to the right with a parking area on the outside of the bend. Note that if you wish to visit Wytham Woods you need to obtain a permit from the Conservator of Wytham Woods, or come along to an OCV task where we will obtain the required permit.