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Inkpen Common

A remnant of ancient heathland, a flower-filled wilderness fringed with woodland that rings with birdsong.

Inkpen Great Common

Heath milkwort

Lying south-west of Newbury, this rare Berkshire heathland was once part of the old Inkpen Great Common where villagers had rights to graze livestock and collect firewood and gorse for feeding their ovens.

An interesting mix

Today's nature reserve is split into two parts. The smaller south-western portion is now a small woodland of naturally regenerated oak and birch. The larger eastern part includes areas of heather and gorse, fringed by silver birch and oak, a small valley bog and a pond. Some parts can get very wet in winter.

Heathland gems

A variety of heathland plants can be seen here including gorse, dwarf gorse, three types of heather, the scarce pale dog-violet, lousewort and heath milkwort. Look out for the unusual parasitic common dodder - it has no leaves, only pink thread-like stems and dense heads of white and pink flowers.

From the boardwalk next to the bog you can admire yellow bog asphodel. Meadow thistle and heath spotted-orchid grow here too.

Woodland trees and birds

In late spring and summer, look and listen for warblers serenading you from the woodland fringes.

Things to do

  • Explore the reserve and surrounding area with our Inkpen Wild Walk. Starting in Kintbury, this 17km circular walk takes in Inkpen Common and Inkpen Crocus Field nature reserves. There is a shorter 10km route that starts at Inkpen Common. OS Explorer Map 158, 1:25,000 scale, covers the route of this walk.
  • Volunteer with our regular work parties on the reserve.
  • Help us manage this reserve by supporting us
  • Tweet your wildlife sightings to @bbowt
  • Sign up to our e-newsletter

Nearby nature reserves

Inkpen Crocus Field
1 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
Kintbury Newt Ponds
1 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
Ham Hill
3 miles - Wiltshire 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

6 miles south-west of
RG17 9QT
Map reference
SU 382 643
Great for...
Best time to visit
Jan - Dec
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
12.00 hectares
Walking information
Flat ground, mostly firm with some wetter areas; kissing gates
3/4 mile east of Inkpen village at junction of Great Common Road and Heads Lane. Park on surfaced track opposite reserve; please take care not to obstruct access.
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Tel: 01628 829574

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.