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Whitecross Green Wood

A dynamic yet fragile woodland habitat renowned for its beautiful butterflies and wild flowers along the wide, grassy rides

Ancient woodland

Lady's bedstraw

This area has been wooded since at least 1600. The nature reserve has undergone many changes in recent years. More than half of the wood was felled and replanted with conifers in the 1960s. Now, the large area of densely planted conifers is being slowly removed so the wood can return to majestic, native broadleaved woodland. Cleared areas are already softening with oak, ash, birch, willow, hawthorn and wild flowers.

Wildlife highlights

In spring, primroses and bluebells flourish in the old coppice area. Along the rides hares are frequently seen during the mating season in March and April. By May, these wide swathes of grass are rich in wild flowers. One of the rarer species you can see here is the grass vetchling, a member of the pea family, which flowers from May to July.

Abundant butterflies

In summer butterflies are abundant. Look out for the marbled white and common blue. The magnificent purple emperor may be spotted in July basking on the bare earth before vanishing up into the oak tree canopy. Look out for the silver-washed fritillary and white admiral too. 

BBOWT's careful management of the blackthorn bushes is helping to strengthen the survival of rare black and brown hairstreaks. Both species are small and elusive and depend upon the blackthorn as a food source for their caterpillars.

Regal history

This reserve is part of our Bernwood Forest project: a five-year project to enhance and recreate the woodland, meadow and hedgerow habitats across five BBOWT nature reserves on the Buckinghamshire - Oxfordshire border.

Things to do

Warning!

Site at risk from increased trampling! Please stick to the mown paths to preserve this wonderful habitat.

Download the site risk assessment.

Your photographs of Whitecross Green Wood

Share your photographs of Whitecross Green Wood with us! Just add them to our BBOWT flickr group, and tag them with ' Whitecross Green '.

Nearby nature reserves

Asham Meads
1 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
Bernwood Meadows
2 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
Woodsides Meadow
3 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

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Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Reserve information

Location
5 miles south of
Bicester
Buckinghamshire
OX5 2RF
Map reference
SP 600 150
Great for...
ancient trees
wildflowers
Best time to visit
Jan - Dec
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
Size
63.00 hectares
Walking information
Mainly flat, sloping at southern end, flat rides bumpy paths, some roots, bench
Parking
On Boarstall to Murcott road, 0.25 miles north of turn to Arncott, take the track opposite the cottage; go through second gate to surfaced car park 150 metres from reserve; please close gates behind you. Please do not park on access track or neighbour's land.
Dogs
Dogs must be on lead
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.