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Finemere Wood

Finemere Wood, a mixture of broadleaved woodland, patches of scrub with paths and wild rides, with an historic meadow, ponds and two streams, is also a butterfly paradise.

Woodland flowers

Throughout the year, Finemere Wood has the thrilling atmosphere of a very old, wild place. Spring is particularly special when the rides are edged with primroses, and bluebells carpet the woodland floor. If you look closely, you can find wood spurge, wood anemone, early-purple orchid or greater butterfly-orchid. In the sunnier coppiced areas, lesser celandine and dog's mercury appear early, and in the summer, hairy St. John's-wort and willowherb take advantage of the clearings. An impressive 200 species of flowers have been recorded here.

Historic meadow

At the heart of the wood you will find a sheltered haven of rough pasture and thickets. Traditional grazing has encouraged the return of plants such as ragged-robin and cuckooflower in the spring and saw-wort, betony and devil's-bit scabious in the summer. In the autumn, the low sun highlights the seed heads of grasses like wood small-reed and tufted hair-grass. A good variety of bees buzz around the meadows throughout the summer.

Butterflies abound

This nature reserve is one of the best places to spot the magnificent purple emperor. Head for the main ride in July and August. Its smaller cousin, the white admiral, thrives here as well, particularly around trailing honeysuckle leaves. A warm summer may bring an influx of silver-washed fritillaries that hunt out patches of violets for their caterpillars to feed on.

Regal history

Finemere was once used by kings and queens for hunting wild boar. Along with Rushbeds Wood and Whitecross Green nature reserves, also in Buckinghamshire, it was a part of the ancient Royal Forest of Bernwood. BBOWT is currently reviving this ancient landscape in a 3-year conservation project.

Get involved

Nearby nature reserves

Calvert Jubilee
3 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
Rushbeds Wood
5 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
Upper Ray Meadows
5 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Reserve information

Location
8 miles north-west of
Aylesbury
Buckinghamshire
HP22 4DF
Map reference
SP 7174 2175
Great for...
butterflies
historical interest
spring flowers
wildflowers
Best time to visit
Jan - Dec
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
Size
76.50 hectares
Walking information
Flat, soft ground when wet, some stumps and roots; 5 short bridges; benches throughout reserve
Parking
2 miles east of Edgcott, on the road to Quainton turn left on track just beyond pylons crossing road; park on hard verge and walk 500m along track to reserve
Dogs
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Yes
Reserve manager
Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Tel: 01442 826774
info@bbowt.org.uk

Smartphone Safari

Every weekend on BBC Radio Berkshire and BBC Radio Oxford we broadcast a Smartphone Safari. Listen along as we explore some of our fantastic reserves and introduce you to the wildlife you can see.