SP7600 : Information Board at Chinnor Hill

taken 4 years ago, near to Chinnor, Oxfordshire, Great Britain

Information Board at Chinnor Hill
Information Board at Chinnor Hill
Located at the north end of Hill Top Lane OX39 4BH, this information board has the following wording:
Chinnor Hill
Welcome to Chinnor Hill, a patchwork of flowery grassland, scrub and woodland, steeped in ancient history
i) Top Left
A special landscape
Chinnor Hill crowns the Chiltern escarpment, offering panoramic views of the Aylesbury Vale and the distant Cotswolds. The chalky soils provide the perfect conditions for a wonderful variety of wildlife to thrive. Areas of chalk grassland support delicate wild flowers and the rare insects that rely on them, and ancient beech woodland caps the top of the hill. The reserve has a rich history and the traces of many eras of previous settlers are still visible today.
ii) Middle Left
Flower-filled grassland
On warm summer days common blue and marbled white butterflies dance over the steeply sloping chalk grassland. By night the eerie green of a glow-worm lights up the grassland edge. Brightly-coloured bee orchids and the nationally scarce Chiltern gentian bloom amongst the fragrant marjoram and thyme. As you explore the grassland keep a look out for red kites soaring high above you, as well as kestrels hovering above the slopes looking for prey.
iii) Bottom Left
Shady woodland
Beneath the dense shade of the beech trees the plentiful fallen deadwood provides a home for a whole host of insects and fungi. In late summer the subtle blooms of the violet helleborine appear on the woodland floor amongst the thick carpet of beech leaves. The ash, hazel and cherry trees on the lower slopes support a small population of dormice. These agile climbers can spend their entire lives up in the branches without ever touching the ground.
iv) Top Right
Diverse scrub
At the woodland edge, areas of low bushy growth, called scrub, create fantastic habitats for birds, mammals and insects. In spring, the scrub provides nest sites for birds like the long-tailed tit and blackcap and quiet, sunny spots for slow-worms to bask. In autumn, flocks of redwing and fieldfare come to feast on the banquet of berries. Spiny juniper bushes grow in the open grassland supporting a vast array of insects and fungi including the rare juniper shield bug.
v) Middle Right
Prehistoric past
Chinnor Hill falls steeply to the Upper Icknield Way - part of the ancient Ridgeway. Following the chalk 'spine' of England and dotted with archaeological remains, this is thought to be Britain's oldest road. Running through the reserve are ancient sunken pathways, shrouded by yew trees and worn hollow over time by feet and wheels. Two Bronze Age barrows on the edge of the grassland tell of a time when Chinnor Hill supported a small community.
vi) Bottom Right
Protecting wildlife
The patchwork of grassland, woodland and scrub needs careful management. Chalk grassland is especially threatened and in 2010 BBOWT embarked on a special project to restore and enhance the chalk grassland here and at 12 other reserves. Our team of volunteers and grazing animals help to control the dense woody scrub that would take over the chalk grassland if left unmanaged, allowing the special wild flowers and insects to flourish

Incidentally, BBOWT stands for Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust, who erected this noticeboard.
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Grid Square
SP7600, 24 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 21 March, 2018   (more nearby)
Friday, 23 March, 2018
Geographical Context
Grassland  Village, Rural settlement  Heath, Scrub 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 7662 0020 [10m precision]
WGS84: 51:41.7198N 0:53.5703W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 7663 0019
View Direction
Northwest (about 315 degrees)
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