Cothill National Nature Reserve



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Cothill NNR, near the village of Cothill, is one of the most species-rich lowland calcareous (chalk) fen systems in the UK. It forms part of the much larger Cothill Fen Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The reserve is best known for its fens and their rich invertebrate and insect life. But in addition the site also features areas of open water, extensive reedbeds and dense oak and alder woodland. A large number of rare invertebrates have been recorded here, including the southern damselfly and Desmoulin’s whorl snail. Several uncommon plants typical of alkaline fens are found on the reserve, and they include the narrow-leaved marsh orchid, marsh helleborine, bog pimpernel, black bog rush and marsh valerian. Grass snakes and lizards can often be seen basking on the boardwalks, and the dense reedbeds provide cover and breeding sites for birds such as reed warbler and sedge warbler.

Cothill National Nature Reserve
Phone : 01844 351833


About The area

Discover Oxfordshire

Located at the heart of England, Oxfordshire enjoys a rich heritage and surprisingly varied scenery. Its landscape encompasses open chalk downland and glorious beechwoods, picturesque rivers and attractive villages set in peaceful farmland. The countryside in the northwest of Oxfordshire seems isolated by comparison, more redolent of the north of England, with its broad views, undulating landscape and dry-stone walls. The sleepy backwaters of Abingdon, Wallingford, Wantage, Watlington and Witney reveal how Oxfordshire’s old towns evolved over the centuries, while Oxford’s imposing streets reflect the beauty and elegance of ‘that sweet city with her dreaming spires.’ Fans of the fictional sleuth Inspector Morse will recognise many Oxford landmarks described in the books and used in the television series.

The county demonstrates how the strong influence of humans has shaped this part of England over the centuries. The Romans built villas in the pretty river valleys that thread their way through Oxfordshire, the Saxons constructed royal palaces here, and the Normans left an impressive legacy of castles and churches. The philanthropic wool merchants made their mark too, and many of their fine buildings serve as a long-lasting testimony to what they did for the good of the local community.

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