Oxfordshire Local Wildlife Sites Highlights 2023

This last year we carried out surveys of 39 existing and proposed Local Wildlife Sites in Oxfordshire. Over 5700 species records have been added to the database. Thanks to our volunteers, this year’s fieldwork also included woodland and calcareous grassland surveys in South Oxfordshire, and invertebrate recording at a site southwest of Oxford. Many thanks to all those involved.

Survey highlights included visits to a long-disused quarry site in northwest Oxfordshire, two ancient woodlands and Dean Common, which is a Wychwood Forest Trust Reserve.

Quarry Site

This long-disused quarry has a mosaic of open calcareous grassland, rougher grassland and scrub. Open areas include steep slopes and cliffs with areas of bare rock and patches with thin soils and rich calcareous grassland flora locally dominated by forbs including Mouse-ear hawkweed, Perforate St. John’s-wort, Rough hawkbit, Salad burnet, Common centaury, Black knapweed, Dwarf thistle, Wild basil, Common bird’s-foot-trefoil, Black medick, Basil thyme, Eyebright, Viper’s bugloss, Pyramidal orchid, Blue fleabane, Lady’s bedstraw, Greater knapweed, Woolly thistle, Field scabious, Hoary plantain, Wild strawberry and Red clover. The site provides valuable habitat for invertebrates including butterflies and bees.