Discover Bernwood Forest nature reserves this winter

Finemere Wood and Whitecross Green Wood, two nature reserves in the Royal Forest of Bernwood, are ideal places for people to enjoy winter walks.

These two woodland sites and three other reserves in the Buckinghamshire/Oxfordshire borders are part of a three-year Bernwood Forest project, managed by the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust.

The aim of project is to regenerate the woodlands, extend the hedgerows, improve wildflower meadows and create new ponds to benefit local wildlife, and give local people more access to these special nature reserves.

The Bernwood Forest project is funded by WREN, a not-for-profit business that awards grants generated by landfill tax through sites owned by FCC Environment, to community, environmental and heritage projects countrywide.

Call for woodland volunteers

Key to the success of the project is the re-establishment of traditional woodland management practices such as rotational coppicing. This winter BBOWT is calling for volunteers to help with this work at Rushbeds Wood nature reserve near Brill.

Working in the woodland is a really fun way of helping local wildlife to thrive, as well as meeting likeminded people and keeping fit. For more information please visit the website: or contact Tim directly on

Enjoy Finemere Wood and Whitecross Green Wood

In recent years the woodlands on these two nature reserves has been thinned to remove many of the conifers planted there in the last century. This has greatly benefitted wildlife by letting in more light to encourage stronger growth of oak, birch, willow and ash trees, and significantly improving the reserves’ status as Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

Visitors to Finemere Wood, north of the Edgcott to Quainton road, north-west of Aylesbury, will find an ancient wood with the thrilling atmosphere of a very old, wild place. In winter it is a perfect place to see and hear flocks of small birds including treecreeper, woodpecker and blue tit as they rove among the trees and undergrowth to feed.

Walkers on the wide open rides in Whitecross Green Wood, on the Boarstall to Murcott road south of Bicester, may notice that the woodland has been thinned, and the cleared areas are already starting to show signs of native trees regenerating, and the understorey regrowth of hawthorn and blackthorn that attracts butterflies and woodland birds.

Rushbeds Wood car park closed

From 2 December until early April, the car park at Rushbeds Wood nature reserve east of Brill will be closed to the public while Network Rail carry out maintenance on the railway bridge. The nature reserve is open to walkers, although some paths will be closed temporarily while BBOWT continues to do woodland management on the site.