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Bowdown Woods & Baynes Reserve

Bowdown Woods is a varied nature reserve of 55 acres on the south side of the Kennet Valley. It is part of the Bowdown and Chamberhouse Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and the local Living Landscape, and owned and managed by BBOWT. The reserve stretches for half a mile along a wooded slope dropping down to the River Kennet. The higher ground is dry heathland with birch and oak. Whilst the wetter valleys are dominated by alder, the woodland contains a variety of trees and shrubs, including oak, ash, field maple, crab apple, birch and hazel.

Baynes Reserve is an ancient woodland and another part of the SSSI, 16 hectares in extent. This has been woodland for many centuries, perhaps since the return of trees at the end of the last Ice Age. The site has been coppiced on a modest scale which regularly opened up the woodland creating diversity and an ideal spot for butterflies. Both of these sites are good for Great and possibly Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, and Marsh Tit. Siskin, Lesser Redpoll and thrushes can be found in winter.

Grid Reference: SU5065

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