Hitchcopse Pit

Hitchcopse Pit - Jim Asher

Hitchcopse Pit is an old sandpit with a fascinating array of plant and insect life.

Location

3 miles north-west of
Abingdon
Oxfordshire
OX13 5QF
OX13 5QF

OS Map Reference

SU452995
A static map of Hitchcopse Pit

Know before you go

Size
3 hectares

Entry fee

No

Parking information

On 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.

Walking trails

Explore Hitchcopse Pit and nearby reserves on the Cothill Fen circular walk

Access

Undulating; mostly firm, sandy patches; stile, kissing gate. Danger - cliffs

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

January to September

About the reserve

Sandy floor

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.

Buzzing burrows

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.

Contact us

Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Contact number: 01865 775476
Contact email: info@bbowt.org.uk

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)