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Asham Meads

A lovely expanse of grassland, Asham Meads harbours rare communities of national and local botanical gems, including maroon-flowered great burnet, meadow fox-tail grass and tubular water-dropwort.

Ancient meadows

These lovely expanses of Oxfordshire grasslands, near Otmoor, harbour rare communities of national and local botanical gems. Asham Meads - probably named after the lost Otmoor village of Nash - is made up of three damp meadows (Upper Marsh, Lower Marsh and Rowbottom), an oak plantation which dates from the 1930s, a pond, hedges and scrub.

Ridge and furrows

The meadows were once ploughed into ridges and furrows. The ridges of the north-eastern field, Rowbottom, are covered by maroon flowers of great burnet, dropwort and meadow foxtail grass. Nestling in the wetter furrows are marsh-loving plants, such as ragged-robin and the uncommon tubular water-dropwort. On the ridges of Upper and Lower Marsh you will find common knapweed and traditional meadow grasses crested dog's-tail and sweet vernal-grass. Among the panorama of flowers are pepper-saxifrage, yellow rattle, saw-wort and many green-winged orchids. 

Home to rare butterflies

All these flowers support a host of butterflies. The rare and hard-to-spot black and brown hairstreak butterflies are to be found in the blackthorn hedges, the foodplant of their caterpillars. In summer, the meadows themselves positively shimmer with small copper, meadow brown and marbled white butterflies.

A bird haven

Listen out for skylarks, blackcap, yellowhammer and curlews in the breeding season.

Things to do

Nearby nature reserves

Whitecross Green Wood
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
Oxfordshire
OX5 2RF (NB: this is the postcode of the nearby farm)
Map reference
SP 590 143
Great for...
birdwatching
butterflies
wildflowers
Best time to visit
Mar - Aug
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
Size
23.00 hectares
Living Landscape schemes
Upper River Ray Living Landscape Project
Walking information
Ridge and furrow, uneven underfoot and soft when wet; kissing gates. No access to Upper Marsh
Parking
On Boarstall to Murcott road, just after bridge over M40 continue west towards Murcott for 2 miles and take left turn to Whitecross Green Farm. Continue through farmyard and take left turn over sleeper bridge into the unsurfaced car park just before RSPB Otmoor reserve.
Dogs
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Yes
Reserve manager
Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Tel: 01865 775476
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.