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Warburg Nature Reserve

A hidden wildlife gem nestling in the Chilterns hills, rich in wildlife that will lift your spirits whatever the season.
The last mile of lane from Bix to Warburg Nature Reserve is in very poor condition and due to be patched. Please consider walking to the reserve from Maidensgrove or Nettlebed, using the Henley Wild Walk leaflet (see below).

Stunning scenery

Silver-washed fritillary by Andy FairbairnHigh up in the Chiltern hills, Warburg Nature Reserve is a remote and magnificent place, rich in exciting plants and animals all through the year.

The flower-rich grasslands in the valley bottom give way to vast woodlands rising up the valley sides. It is the richest BBOWT site in the three counties for orchids. From April right through to September orchids can be found in all of the habitats, including fly orchid and the bird's-nest orchid. Warburg Nature Reserve even has its own microclimate with exceptionally cold temperatures on winter nights. 

Seasonal highlights

The reserve is home to an incredible range of habitats sheltering thousands of species, and each season there is something interesting to experience.

This is my favourite wild place to come for a walk - you can't match it.

BBOWT member

In spring, the woodland is awash with spectacular bluebells and wood anemones.

In May and June the reserve has a dawn chorus second to none. The wide sunny rides and open glades of chalk grassland are full of summer flowers, including pyramidal orchid and swathes of aromatic wild marjoram and thyme. These are followed by autumn and Chiltern gentians and glorious colours throughout the tree canopy, while down below, an incredible 900 species of fungi grow. In winter, you can enjoy magical frost along the valley bottom.

Oddities and rarities

In June and July you can see the yellow bird's-nest, a strange leafless plant that grows in some of the darkest parts of the beech wood. Warburg Nature Reserve is also wonderful for rare butterflies. Oaks provide food for purple hairstreak caterpillars, while the silver-washed fritillary lays its eggs in bark crevices above violets on the ground below.

Nature Detectives Trail

It's free, it's fun and it's great for all the family!
From the Interpretation Centre families can pick up a special backpack that includes games, trail notes and spotter sheets for wildlife as tiny as beetles and as big as red kites. Children can follow the trail through the woods, the wildlife pond and the grassy glades at their own pace.

Charcoal and Firewood

Sustainable firewood and charcoal is now available to buy at Warburg Nature Reserve.

Reserve champions - supporting their favourite reserve

Sally Burton: "In memory of our beloved daughter Corinne Julia Burton (27/11/1970-24/05/2010)."

Peter Simpson

Rosemary Waite

Things to do

  • Try our circular Wildlife Walk (1 mile).  Just follow the badger waymarkers.
  • Come along to one of our seasonal guided walks.
  • Explore the reserve and surrounding area with our Henley Wild Walk. Starting in Henley, this 21km circular walk includes Warburg Nature Reserve. There is a shorter 8km section that can start from the reserve or Nettlebed. OS Explorer Map 171, 1:25,000 scale, covers the route of this walk.
  • Volunteer! Join our regular work party on the reserve.
  • Help us manage this reserve by supporting us
  • Tweet your wildlife sightings to @bbowt
  • Sign up to our e-newsletter

Download the site risk assessment.

Your Warburg Nature Reserve photographs

Share your Warburg Nature Reserve photographs with us! Add them to our Flickr group and tag them 'warburg'.

Nearby nature reserves

Warren Bank
5 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
Homefield Wood
6 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
Hurley Chalk Pit
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

Location
4 miles north-west of
Henley-on-Thames
Oxfordshire
RG9 6BJ
Map reference
SU 721 878
Great for...
a family day out
ancient trees
getting away from it all
spring flowers
wildflowers
Best time to visit
Jan - Dec
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Reserve open at all times
Toilets open at all times
Interpretation Centre open daily 9am - 5pm
(There is no cafe at this centre)

Facilities
Visitor centre
Picnic facilities
Toilets
Disabled toilet
Baby changing
Size
106.50 hectares
Access
Mobility vehicle available - please contact us before visiting on 01491 642001 or warburg@bbowt.org.uk
Walking information
Variable, mostly steep paths and loose flint, flat grassy path; muddy in valley bottom after rain; benches. Warburg Nature Reserve can be accessed on foot from Maidensgrove and also Nettlebed. Download the Henley Wild Walk leaflet (left).
Parking
From the A4130 turn into Bix Village. Take a left turn into Rectory Lane. Go down the steep hill and turn left at the bottom, signposted Bix Bottom. The next mile of lane is a Restricted Byway in very poor condition and due to be patched this summer. For sat-nav please use RG9 6BJ, then continue driving carefully up the valley to the car park.
Dogs
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Yes
Reserve manager
Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Tel: 01491 642001
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.