Whitecross Green Wood

Whitecross Green Wood

A dynamic yet fragile woodland habitat renowned for its beautiful butterflies and wild flowers along the wide, grassy rides

Location

5 miles south of
Bicester
Buckinghamshire
OX5 2RF

OS Map Reference

SP600150
A static map of Whitecross Green Wood

Know before you go

Size
63 hectares

Entry fee

No

Parking information

On Boarstall to Murcott road, 0.25 miles north of turn to Arncott, take track opposite the cottage; go through second gate to surfaced car park 150 metres from reserve; please close gates behind you. Please do not park on access track or neighbour's land

Walking trails

Circular Wildlife Walk (2.25 miles) - follow the badger waymarkers.

Access

Mainly flat, sloping at southern end, flat rides bumpy paths, some roots, bench

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

All year round

About the reserve

Ancient woodland

This area has been wooded since at least 1600. The nature reserve has undergone many changes in recent years. More than half of the wood was felled and replanted with conifers in the 1960s. Now, the large area of densely planted conifers is being slowly removed so the wood can return to majestic, native broadleaved woodland. Cleared areas are already softening with oak, ash, birch, willow, hawthorn and wild flowers.

Wildlife highlights

In spring, primroses and bluebells flourish in the old coppice area. Along the rides hares are frequently seen during the mating season in March and April. By May, these wide swathes of grass are rich in wild flowers. One of the rarer species you can see here is the grass vetchling, a member of the pea family, which flowers from May to July.

Abundant butterflies

In summer butterflies are abundant. Look out for the marbled white and common blue. The magnificent purple emperor may be spotted in July basking on the bare earth before vanishing up into the oak tree canopy. Look out for the silver-washed fritillary and white admiral too.  BBOWT's careful management of the blackthorn bushes is helping to strengthen the survival of rare black and brown hairstreaks. Both species are small and elusive and depend upon the blackthorn as a food source for their caterpillars.

Regal history

This reserve is part of our Bernwood Forest project: a five-year project to enhance and recreate the woodland, meadow and hedgerow habitats across five BBOWT nature reserves on the Buckinghamshire - Oxfordshire border.

Things to do

Try our circular Wildlife Walk (2.25 miles).  Just follow the badger waymarkers. Look out for our seasonal guided walks including autumn fungus forays - check the Events section. Volunteer with our local work party.

Warning! Site at risk from increased trampling! Please stick to the mown paths to preserve this wonderful habitat.

 

Contact us

Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Contact number: 01442 826774
Contact email: info@bbowt.org.uk

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)