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Hitchcopse Pit

Hitchcopse Pit is an old sandpit with a fascinating array of plant and insect life.

Sandy floor

Mining beeLike nearby Dry Sandford Pit, this reserve is the result of quarrying - in this case for sand. Hitchcopse Pit is made up of the disused sandpit and contains fragments of heath, woodland, scrub, grassland and a small pond. The sandy floor of the old quarry pit is covered in lichens and grassland plants. Species to note include viper's-bugloss, evening-primrose and carline thistle. Many interesting, cushion-forming mosses cover the large boulders scattered around on the quarry floor.

Buzzing burrows

The reserve has exceptional numbers of solitary bees and wasps thanks to its abundant supplies of fine sand. These insects make their homes in the soft, sandy layers of the low pit 'cliffs'. Burrowing wasps are more slender than the familiar common wasp, and not all have black and yellow stripes. Their holes are often in colonies although the wasps themselves are solitary. Each mother collects her own supplies for a larder to feed the grubs that hatch from her eggs. Beetles are also abundant. 

Things to do

Nearby nature reserves

Parsonage Moor
1 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
Dry Sandford Pit
1 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
Lashford Lane Fen
1 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
3 miles north-west of
Abingdon
Oxfordshire
OX13 5QF
Map reference
SU 452 995
Great for...
lichens and mosses
Best time to visit
Jan - Sep
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
Size
3.00 hectares
Walking information
Undulating; mostly firm, sandy patches; stile, kissing gate. Danger - cliffs
Parking
On A338, 0.25 miles south of A420 roundabout, take road (The Ride) on right, park on street. 50 m south on opposite side of A338 take byway for 0.25 miles to reach the reserve.
Dogs
Dogs must be on lead
Reserve manager
Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Tel: 01865 775476
info@bbowt.org.uk

Downloads

Factsheets and guides for your visit

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.