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Wildlife Wednesday

Our roving Wildlife Wednesday visits a different Earth Trust community nature reserve each school holiday.

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Mowbray Fields

Mowbray Fields Local Nature Reserve

Mowbray Fields

Home to the stunning common spotted and southern marsh orchids, Mowbray Fields is a tranquil nature reserve nestling in the heart of Didcot.  

On a summer’s day Mowbray Fields is perfect for family picnics and nature walks. The site is teaming with wildlife and was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 2000.

Ponds and wetlands

A raised causeway and viewing platform let you get right up close to fascinating ecosystems including rough grassland, marsh and wet woodland. In spring enjoy the wonderful views of orchids and red kites soaring overhead and during winter months bring your binoculars to spot snipe feeding in the wet muddy areas around the pond or hiding out in the taller vegetation.

Wildflower meadows

The wildflower meadow was sown in 2001 and has transformed the former grassland into a rich flowery meadow, providing a haven for a wide variety of insects, butterflies, mammals and birds. The meadow is teaming with creepy crawlies with 200 invertebrate species, including one Red Data Book, five nationally scarce and 41 local scarce species, being recorded on the site. Beady eyed visitors should also have sightings of grass snakes in March and April, when they are out of hibernation but need to bask to warm up, and common frogs in February and March when they congregate around ponds to breed and lay their eggs.

Seasonal Highlights

  • Southern marsh orchidCommon spotted and southern marsh orchids in June
  • Wildflowers in the meadow in summer
  • Red kites all year round

Walk on the wild side

  • A circular footpath allows you to walk around the reserve whilst a raised causeway and viewing platform gives access into the heart of the pond. A walk around the reserve takes approx. 20 mins

  • The nature reserve and adjoining grassland are perfect for walks, picnics and family activities and are linked by the Sustrans national cycle network and public footpaths.

Site management plan

If you are interested in reading more about Mowbray Fields, you can dowload the Site Management Plan and Appendices for 2012 - 2017. This plan was prepared by Earth Trust on behalf of South Oxfordshire District Council.

How to get to Mowbray Fields

Mowbray Road is located off Queensway, Didcot. There is parking available in Mowbray Road (nearest postcode: OX11 8SU).