Nature Reserves

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SS Mary and John Churchyard, OxfordWebsiteStreet MapGoogle Map

Ss Mary and John Churchyard
Jubilee Wildlife Space
Managed by:Volunteers of Ss Mary and John Churchyard
OS grid reference:SP 532 054
Nearest postcode:OX4 1UR
Usual work:Scrub/weed clearance, tree planting, path maintenance

Ss Mary and John Churchyard Jubilee Wildlife Space is a beautiful Victorian churchyard that is managed for a diverse range of wildlife near to the corner of Cowley Road and Magdalen Road in East Oxford. OCV have done tasks here to maintain the paths and hedges, plant trees/hedges and clear scrub and invasive weeds to encourage a wide diversity of habitats.

Flora and Fauna

There are a large variety of wild plants growing in the graveyard that have been maintained and planted by volunteers, including OCV. The wild flowers include violets, hellebore, winter aconites, wood anemones, bugle, solomon's-seal, gladwyn iris, bluebells, ferns, primroses, field scabious, betony, meadow vetchling, meadow cranesbill, snowdrops and wild daffodils. A large variety of fungi grow on habitat piles, gravestones and rotting vegetation around the site. A large number of the trees at the site were planted by the Victorians. Tree species here include limes, wellingtonias, corsican pines, horse chestnuts, Irish yews, sycamore, holly, hawthorn and ash.

A wide variety of birds have been seen at the site, including green greater spotted woodpeckers, wrens, robins, tits, finches, goldcrests, nuthatch, wood pigeons, blackbirds, house martins and jays. In addition, bats have also been seen at the site. Smaller visitors include butterflies such as the holly blue and the speckled wood, dragonflies, toads and lizards.

Conservation Management

The main aim of conservation management at the site is to encourage a wide diversity of plants and wildlife, whilst preserving and retaining access to the historical gravestones. Habitat piles of logs and wood debris have been built around the graveyard. In shady areas these provide homes for invertebrates, fungi and toads, whilst in sunny areas the habitat piles encourage lizards, solitary bees, butterflies and dragonflies. In areas such as the Garden of Remembrance and Thanksgiving invasive weeds are cleared in order to maintain and increase the large variety of delicate wild flowers and grasses, and therefore help the creatures that feed on them. Nesting/roosting sites have been created for a variety of species of birds and bats. OCV have helped by maintaining paths to enable access to the gravestones without damaging the plants, and the planting of trees and hedges to encourage diversity of habitats.


The graveyard is on the corner of Cowley Road and Magdalen Road in East Oxford. It is just to the South of the main shops on Cowley Road and is visible from the main road.