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Great nature reserves to visit in October

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Posted: Friday 29th September 2017 by bbowtblog

Warburg Nature Reserve in autumn. Photo by Louise Print-LyonsWarburg Nature Reserve in autumn. Photo by Louise Print-Lyons

With nearly 90 nature reserves to choose from in our three counties, which are the best to visit this month?

Here are our top reserves in Berks, Bucks and Oxon to visit during October. Autumn is a great time to visit some our woodland reserves to see leaves turning shades of gold, orange and red, and fungi as it emerges from the ground. We love hearing about your visits to our reserves. Let us know what wildlife you see when you visit them. Share your photos of our reserves with us on Twitter and Facebook or upload them to our Flickr gallery.

Click on the photos to go to the reserve webpage for more information and how to get there.


Bowdown Woods

Bowdown Woods by Rob Appleby

Autumn is a colourful time on at Bowdown Woods, which contains woodland, grassland and heathland. Leaves turn to shades of gold and brightly coloured fungi push their way to the earth's surface. Why not join the fungi walk on 7 October to learn more about the different species that you can find here.

Hosehill Lake

Swans at Hosehill Lake. Photo by BBOWT

BBOWT manages Hosehill Lake nature reserve on behalf of West Berkshire Council. There is a beautiful lake surrounded by meadows, ponds and sheltered reedbeds, a great place to watch time go by. At this time of year migrant birds begin arriving to spend the winter in the UK, joining our resident species at the lake. 


Dancersend with Pavis Woods

Dancersend. Photo by Jim Asher

Dancersend is wonderful all through the year. Autumn brings a large number of fungi, including the amazing collared earthstar whose outer layer splits and folds backward into a star-shaped pattern. Another interesting species to spot is the scarlet elfcup which you can find on rotten moss-covered twigs in winter and early spring. Our Tring Park Wild Walk is a circular walk from Tring that includes Dancersend and a section of the Ridgeway National Trail. 

Finemere Wood

plums and custard

Take a stroll around this area of ancient woodland near Aylesbury to enjoy the changing colours of the leaves through the autumn. Look out for the array of fungi, including the inedible plums and custard, above, which grows around rotting conifer stumps. There's an active group of volunteers who help BBOWT manage this woodland. Read about some of their activities in Charlotte Karmali's blog.


Sydlings Copse

Sydlings Copse

Tucked away to the north-east of Oxford, near Barton, Sydlings Copse is a treasure trove for wildlife enthusiasts all year round. During the autumn a profusion of fungi erupts from the woodland floor, as well as the limestone grassland. Trees and shrubs are laden with berries and leaves are turning to shades of gold, orange and bronze.

Warburg Nature Reserve

Fly agaric. Photo by Kate Dent

Another reserve to visit on a longer, autumnal walk, our Henley Wild Walk includes a stretch through this wonderful reserve nestled high in the Chilterns. An incredible 900 species of fungi have been recorded in this reserve, which includes beech woodland that turns glorious shades of gold in autumn.

Things to do

  • Look for our top October wildlife
  • Find a nature reserve near you with the Wildilfe Trusts' Nature Finder app for iphone and Android
  • Share your photos of our reserves with us on Twitter and Facebook or upload them to our Flickr gallery
  • Oxfordshire photographer Andrew Marshall's book Photographing wildlife in the UK (published by Fotovue) includes advice on how to take great wildlife photographs. The book includes top locations for photographing wildlife and some images that were taken on BBOWT nature reserves (Greenham Common, Chimney Meadows, Foxholes and College Lake).
  • Our experts work with over 1,400 volunteers to look after over 80 nature reserves, five education centres and run hundreds of amazing events. We rely on the generosity of individuals, charitable trusts and businesses. Help us look after these precious places for your local wildlife by donating today
  • Download our autumn wildlife detective sheet, will you spot all of the species?

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