Nature Reserves

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Britwell Hill, nr Watlington, South OxfordshireStreet MapGoogle MapPhotos

Britwell Hill
Managed by:Natural England
OS grid reference:SU 685 915
Nearest postcode:OX49 5HD
Usual work:Hedgelaying, woodland management

Britwell Hill near Watlington is a truly beautiful spot in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). At around 735 feet, it provides stunning views over the Oxford Plain and footpaths nearby that run beside a Norman embankment through Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) rich in downland flora.

At Britwell Hill we work for an environmentally-friendly Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) farmer who is endeavouring to run the farm in a way that supports, protects and encourages wildlife. OCV have assisted in enhancing the biodiversity of hedgerows through hedgelaying, woodland management and scrub clearance.

Flora and Fauna

The main fauna on Britwell Hill is in the form of deciduous hedgerows and trees alongside farmland, although there are some small areas of relatively new woodland. The remaining land is predominantly farmland and downland. Red kites are commonly seen while on task at Britwell Hill. Other bird species reported in the area include buzzards. Rabbits are commonly seen in the hedgerows.

Conservation Management

LEAF was set up in 1991 to develop a viable, achievable system of farming that benefits the farmers, customers and the environment by promoting and driving forward Integrated Farm Management (IFM). The aim of this system is to allow farmers to manage their farms in a professional and environmental manner by combining the best of traditional farming methods (such as crop rotation) with modern technology and information from a diverse range of sources, from environmental experts to consumer groups. IFM aims to ensure high standards of produce whilst minimising environmental risks and enhancing and re-creating important habitats.

An example of these activities at Britwell Hill include the re-planting of important hedgerow habitat to create a corridor for a diverse range of wildlife. OCV have also assisted at Britwell Hill with hedgelaying to increase habitats and biodiversity, removal of tree tubes from a newly planted hedge and scrub clearance.

Location

From Oxford, leave the A423 at the south of the ring-road and take the A4074 towards Reading. At the Elm Bridge roundabout, take the first exit towards Benson and Watlington onto the B4009. When you reach Britwell Salome go right to go up Britwell Hill. We usually work towards the peak of the hill.

Alternatively, you can reach the site from the M40. Leave the motorway at junction 6 and head west onto the B4009 towards Watlington. Carry on this road through Watlington until you reach Britwell Salome. When you reach Britwell Salome go left to go up Britwell Hill. We usually work towards the peak of the hill.