Know before you go
Parking informationOn A40 1.75 miles east of High Wycombe turn left into Gomm Road; park before bridge; take footpath across slope, then lower path at foot of slope through hedge; reserve is 30 m further on right.
Steep slope; many roots
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitMarch to November
About the reserve
This steep slope is all that remains of the chalk grassland in this dry valley on the edge of built-up High Wycombe. Much of the reserve has become grown over with scrub species including dogwood, hawthorn, buckthorn, spindle, guelder-rose and wayfaring-tree. In spring, these produce a spectacular display of blossom. Flocks of birds, particularly from the thrush family, gorge on the berries that follow in autumn and winter.
Orchids, including bee, pyramidal and common spotted, grow in the grassy areas, while common twayblades flourish in the scrub margins. On the chalk grassland, knapweeds, agrimony and lady's bedstraw can be found. Bluebells grow at the southern end of the reserve where there is some mixed broadleaved woodland. There are small patches of wood anemone. The scarce coralfoot, which produces dainty pink clusters of flowers in late spring, can also be found in some years. Gomm Valley is also good for butterflies such as the marbled white. More than 180 species of moth have been recorded here.
"I just thought I’d let you know how much I love the Gomm Valley Reserve. It’s my ‘local’, and I visit it most days ... It adds value to our countryside and makes life amazing." - Mandy Allen (BBOWT member)