what nature reserves are near Oxfordshire?

No matter what time of year you are around Oxfordshire, a trip to one of these nature reserves will always go down well.

Scattered all around Oxfordshire you will find so many protected areas of importance that have been made into beautiful nature reserves. So whether you are looking for somewhere to enjoy a country walk or you just want to explore the local wildlife and plants you will be able to do so in Oxfordshire. To make things easier for you we thought we’d do all the research and put together a list of large and smaller nature reserves that are near and around Oxfordshire below.

large nature reserves near Oxfordshire


Cotswolds AONB

The Coltswolds - Crickley Hill

Covering almost 800 square miles, The Cotswolds covers a huge area of England and is the largest AONB in England. Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire are all covered within the Cotswolds. Throughout this area you will find quaint and unique villages with stone buildings along with market towns that are always busy. And there are also plenty of quieter places you can head to if you want to take in the views of the countryside and enjoy a walk. There are over 3,000 miles of footpaths that you can explore so you will be spoilt for choice with all the walks within the Cotswolds.

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The Chilterns AONB

Chiltern Hills AONB

Our Springs Resort & Golf Club is located inside the stunning Chilterns AONB. Covering around 324 square miles and covers the counties Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. It was designated as an AONB in 1965 and has some of the most incredible landscapes. Whether you are wanting to walk through one of the many woodlands that are located in The Chilterns AONB or learn more about the Chalk Streams and the history behind this area. You will find that there is something for everyone and you will all enjoy your time exploring this beautiful part of England.

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North Wessex Downs AONB

North Wessex Downs AONB

The North Wessex Downs was designated as an AONB in 1972 and is 670 square miles making it the third largest AONB in England. The area covers the counties Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. All around the North Wessex Downs you will be able to find chalk streams, woodlands, river valleys, ancient monuments and beautiful historic towns and villages that are waiting for you to explore. There are also a great range of long distance walking routes if you are wanting to spend the day on foot taking in all the incredible views of the area.

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other smaller nature reserves around Oxfordshire


Mowbray Fields Local Nature Reserve

Mowbray Fields Local Nature Reserve

This tranquil nature reserve is located right in the heart of Didcot and is open to visitors all year round. There is no car park at the nature reserve but you can park carefully and considerately around the residential area nearby. There is a pond and wildflower meadow that was sown in 2001 and has become a haven for over 200 different species!

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CS Lewis Nature Reserve

Although CS Lewis Nature Reserve is located right near the A40 and is surrounded by houses you will be able to enjoy a peaceful and tranquil experience here. With a woodland and large pond that previously belonged to Oxford author CS Lewis. He has said that he enjoyed going here when writing his book series about Narnia!

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Dry Sandford Pit Nature Reserve

Dry Sandford Pit Nature Reserve

Enjoy a half mile walk around the reserve all year round. The Dry Sandford Pit Nature Reserve is the perfect place to visit if you want to see some honeycombed cliffs, flowery fen, and take in all the views on the circular walk. If you look carefully in the cliffs, you may find some visible fossils from creatures dating back to the Jurassic era.

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Asham Meads Nature Reserve

The Asham Meads Nature Reserve is made up of 3 damp meadows, a pond, hedges, a scrub and an oak plantation that dates back to the 1930s. Enjoy the vast grasslands as you explore the nature reserve. This area is also really popular with rare butterflies so you will want to keep your eye out for these during your time at Asham Meads Nature Reserve.

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Heyford Meadow Nature Reserve

Heyford Meadow Nature Reserve

If you want a nature reserve you can enjoy a walk through no matter what the weather then Heyford Meadow Nature Reserve will be perfect. With a board walk that provides you with access over the wetter areas all year round you can take in all the views and the wildlife that live here. Oxfordshire’s County flower is called The Snake’s Head Fritillary and you can see the purple flower alongside the board walk when they are in bloom.

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If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Oxfordshire we have our stunning resort with a Tudor-style house from 1893.

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