Sydlings Copse

Sydlings Copse

Sydlings Copse - Jim Asher

Sydlings Copse

Embark on a sensory journey through this secluded wildlife gem - once described as one of the richest habitats in middle England.


3.5 miles north-east of

OS Map Reference

SP 559 096
A static map of Sydlings Copse

Know before you go

22 hectares

Entry fee


Parking information

From Headington roundabout, take Bayswater Road north through Barton; turn left on B4027; after 500 m park opposite Royal Oak Farm; take bridleway for 600 m, passing two small woods; reserve is on right 100 m from bridleway.

Grazing animals


Walking trails

Circular Wildlife Walk (0.75 miles) - follow the badger waymarkers.


Sloping; flat sections, steep slopes, soft patches; kissing gate, steps. Not suitable for pushchairs.


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

All year round

About the reserve

Sheer variety

The diversity of this small nature reserve is quite staggering. Boasting ancient broadleaved woodland, limestone grasslands, reedbed, fen, a stream and rare Oxfordshire heathland, the reserve supports over 400 plant species. The site is also teeming with birds and insect life; butterflies include the purple hairstreak, brown hairstreak, common blue and marbled white.

Sequence of flowers

In spring, cowslips and hairy violets begin a procession of changing colour in the flower-rich grassland. This festival peaks in summer with a display of knapweed, small scabious, yellow rattle, common rock-rose, wild basil and marjoram.


The heath's gorse, with its coconut-scented flowers, attracts flocks of linnet. Lizards can often be seen basking in this sunshine on stacked log piles. Grass snakes and slow-worms can occasionally be glimpsed. The unusual nutrient-poor sandy soil provides a perfect niche for heath specialists including heather and a diverse community of solitary wasps and bees that live in burrows in the sand.

Reserve champions - supporting their favourite reserve

Liza Denny

Marion Gillie

Things to do 

  • Try our circular Wildlife Walk (3/4 mile). Just follow the badger waymarkers. 
  • We run regular work parties on the reserve.

Contact us

Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Contact number: 01865 775476
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