Know before you go
Parking informationOn A338, 0.25 miles south of A420 roundabout, take road (The Ride) on right, park on street. 50 m south on opposite side of A338 take byway for 0.25 miles to reach the reserve.
Explore Hitchcopse Pit and nearby reserves on the Cothill Fen circular walk
Undulating; mostly firm, sandy patches; stile, kissing gate. Danger - cliffs
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitJanuary to September
About the reserve
Like nearby Dry Sandford Pit, this reserve is the result of quarrying - in this case for sand. Hitchcopse Pit is made up of the disused sandpit and contains fragments of heath, woodland, scrub, grassland and a small pond. The sandy floor of the old quarry pit is covered in lichens and grassland plants. Species to note include viper's-bugloss, evening-primrose and carline thistle. Many interesting, cushion-forming mosses cover the large boulders scattered around on the quarry floor.
The reserve has exceptional numbers of solitary bees and wasps thanks to its abundant supplies of fine sand. These insects make their homes in the soft, sandy layers of the low pit 'cliffs'. Burrowing wasps are more slender than the familiar common wasp, and not all have black and yellow stripes. Their holes are often in colonies although the wasps themselves are solitary. Each mother collects her own supplies for a larder to feed the grubs that hatch from her eggs. Beetles are also abundant.
Things to do
Explore Cothill Fen and Hitchcopse Pit, by downloading our circular walk leaflet.