Rushbeds Wood

Discover a wealth of wild flowers and butterflies in this ancient woodland and meadows including the 'townhall clock' plant and the rare black hairstreak.


9 miles south-east of Bicester

HP18 0RU

OS Map Reference

A static map of Rushbeds Wood

Know before you go

56 hectares

Entry fee


Parking information

Surfaced car park, 1.25 miles south of Ludgershall, 100m before Boarstall-Wotton Underwood road. Through gate and over railway bridge. Please note there is a vehicle height barrier at the entrance.

Grazing animals


Walking trails

Follow the 1.5 mile Wildlife Walk


Paths flat, soft after rain, some roots; kissing gates, bench


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times.

Best time to visit

All year round

About the reserve

Ancient woodland

Most of the trees here were felled in the late 1940s, and only a handful of mature oaks remain. Today's 'wildwood' is a mixture of ash, field maple, aspen, hazel and oak along with blackthorn, hawthorn, spindle and a few old hornbeams. The woodland is damp and tussocky with a wide variety of sedges, grasses and rushes.

Woodland flowers

In spring, the woodland has a scattering of bluebells and contains many plants that thrive in ancient wooded sites, such as wood anemone, primrose and yellow archangel.

In April and May, look out for moschatel, otherwise known as the 'townhall clock', or 'Good Friday plant'. The small yellow-green flowers are arranged in a fascinating way, at right angles to one another, like the faces of a town clock.

Butterflies abound

Rushbeds Wood is excellent for butterflies, and you are likely to see the tree canopy aflutter with the fast-flying purple hairstreak in June and July. The wood also supports some of the more uncommon butterflies such as the purple emperor and the black hairstreak. If you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the handsome silver-washed fritillary settling on bramble flowers, or even a white admiral.

Things to do

  • Try our circular Wildlife Walk (1.5 miles).  Just follow the badger waymarkers. 
  • We run regular work parties on the reserve.

Contact us

Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Contact number: 01442 826774
Contact email:

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Volunteers hedgelaying
Get involved

Volunteer with us

Our volunteers help us in so many ways - by working on nature reserves, helping at visitor centres, leading walks, training others and much, much more. Without our volunteers we would not be able to carry out much of our work.

For more information about volunteering for BBOWT, please get in touch with