Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve
Perched high on the Chilterns escarpment, the reserve contains flower-rich chalk grassland, woodland and juniper scrub. There are fantastic views over the Oxford plain and it’s a great place to watch red kites soaring overhead.
A wide variety of habitats have allowed a huge number of butterfly, flower and bird species to flourish at this reserve, which is perched on the north western scarp of the Chiltern Hills, within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Keep an eye out for finches, red kites, wheatears, whitethroats, blackcaps, green woodpeckers and winter visitors such as fieldfare and redwing. Key butterfly species present at the reserve include chalkhill blue and silver-spotted, dingy and grizzled skippers.
Additionally, there is a unique “Talking Trail” at Aston Rowant, which comprises 6 locally crafted sculptures along a 2km waymarked trail. Each sculpture had a wind-up listening post at which you can hear short audio clips related to the sculptures and the reserve.
There are two car parks, one at Beacon Hill (signposted from the A40 near Stokenchurch), and one at Cowleaze Wood car park. The reserve is within easy walking distance (half a mile or so) from The Ridgeway National Trail