Breath-taking beauty in this ancient woodland famed for its spectacular spring bluebells, abundant birdlife and fabulous fungi.

Seasonal highlights

Early purple orchid

In spring, the woodland floor is vibrant with primroses, violets and early-purple orchids. In May, Foxholes is awash with bluebells, and by summer, the tall spikes of foxgloves are in their full glory. Later in the year, you can enjoy spectacular autumn colours, and Foxhole's fabulous fungi, with over 200 species recorded.

Everything for bats

Ancient woodlands like Foxholes provide just the right environment for bats to flourish. The Trust has been working to ensure that bats have everything they need here. Surveys have identified seven different species, including the rare Bechstein's bat which relies on the presence of tall trees where it seeks out insects in the high branches and leaves.

Birds and butterflies

Birdlife includes nuthatch, often seen creeping up and down trees, and treecreeper, which only creeps up the trunks. A colony of white admiral butterflies flourishes thanks to a plentiful supply of wild honeysuckle, the caterpillar's food plant. You can also see large, small and green-veined whites, the pretty comma, and ringlets. In all, 23 species of butterfly have been recorded on the reserve.

Reserve champions - supporting their favourite reserve

Dr Elizabeth Birchall

Things to do

  • Try our circular Wildlife Walk (1.75 miles).  Just follow the badger waymarkers.
  • Explore the reserve and surrounding area with our Foxholes Wild Walk. Starting in Shipton-under-Wychwood, this 11km circular walk takes in ancient woodland at Foxholes nature reserve. OS Explorer Map OL45, 1:25,000 scale, covers the route of this walk.
  • Look out for our autumn fungus forays.
  • Help us manage this reserve by supporting us
  • Tweet your wildlife sightings to @bbowt
  • Sign up to our e-newsletter

Your photographs of Foxholes

Share your Foxholes photographs with us! Add them to our Flickr group, and tag them with 'Foxholes'.

Nearby nature reserves

Greystones Farm
5 miles - Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust
Westwell Gorse
6 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
Glyme Valley
6 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

4 miles north of
Map reference
SP 255 207
Great for...
spring flowers
Best time to visit
Jan - Dec
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
23.00 hectares
Walking information
Gentle sloping; mainly grassy, soft when wet, some roots, gaps (0.5m wide), kissing gate. Off-road pushchair recommended.
Travelling north on A424 from Burford, ignore right turns to Milton-under-Wychwood and take right to Bruern. Continue past staggered crossroads towards Bruern for 2 miles then past right to Shipton-under-Wychwood. After 200m limited parking is available in layby. We strongly recommend that you park and then walk down the track for 600m to the reserve entrance since the track is heavily potholed and you could risk damaging your car.
Dogs must be on lead
Reserve manager
Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Tel: 01865 775476

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.