Little Wittenham Wood
If you’re visiting Wittenham Clumps, don’t forget to explore the neighbouring Little Wittenham Wood – one of Europe’s most important sites for wildlife. With dappled sunlight and wide, open rides, this treasured woodland is alive with wildlife. It’s the perfect place for a relaxing stroll, or a peaceful picnic. There are plenty of opportunities for exploring nature more closely, or try out your den building skills!
What to see
Little Wittenham Wood has been designated as both a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), reflecting its international importance for wildlife. The nature reserve is particularly important for the endangered species, the Great Crested Newt. This shy amphibian uses the many ponds within the nature reserve to breed, but it spends the majority of time in the surrounding woodland. Tucking itself quietly away in safe and secure hidden spots, you have to search carefully to find them. Much easier to spot are the dragonflies and damselflies which hover around the ponds. If you wander down to the bird hide, at the river’s edge, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Kingfishers or Otters.
From spring bluebells to autumnal fungi, there is always something new to discover in the woods. Protected species, such as the Firecrest and Red Kite, have been known to breed high up in the treetops. Be sure to look up, as well as down!
Earth Trust acquired Little Wittenham Wood in 1982. It has always been the intention that it would be managed for the benefit of both people and wildlife – a place for everyone to enjoy the countryside for free.
Earth Trust manages Little Wittenham Wood in a way that encourages predominantly broadleaved trees with some conifers throughout. Part of the management includes coppicing, which involves cutting species such as hazel and spindle to their base in the winter time. This traditional management technique helps create a diverse structure to the woodland habitat, as well as producing materials used in hedgelaying and hurdle making. Timber extracted from the wood is used in our boiler to heat Earth Trust Centre.
Each year sections of the rides are coppiced in winter. This helps to create open sunny glades within the wood and provides perfect habitats for butterflies, other invertebrates and many woodland birds.
Our volunteers are often helping us in the woods, find out more about how you can join us.
We do not currently have electric vehicle charging facilities at Earth Trust Centre or the Clumps car park however we are hoping to address this during 2025. Find out where public EV charging points are in Oxfordshire and beyond using Zap Map. View a map and full details of Park and Charge fast EV charging hubs across Oxfordshire on the Park and Charge Oxfordshire website.
Parking: Nearest car park is Wittenham Clumps car park (always open)
Opening Times: Always open
Dog Walking: Dogs allowed when on the lead
Toilets: Nearest toilets are at the Earth Trust Centre