Whittlewood Forest

This area covers the Yardley-Whittlewood Ridge north of Buckingham. It is more heavily wooded than most of the rest of Aylesbury Vale and contains areas of parkland including Stowe.

Area Coverage: 4985 ha
Local wildlife sites: 19
SSSI: 1
BAP Habitat: 
Lowland Wood-Pasture & Parkland: 68 ha
Lowland Meadow: 3.5 ha
Purple Moor Grass & Rush Pasture: 1 ha
Lowland Mixed Deciduous Woodland: 151 ha
Wet Woodland: 0.2ha
Eutrophic Standing Water: 20 ha
Reedbeds: 4 ha
Lowland Heathland: 2 ha

Joint Character Area: Yardley – Whittlewood Ridge and Bedfordshire & Cambridgeshire Claylands

Landscape Types: Mostly wooded agricultural land, at 9% woodland the woodland cover is higher than in most of the north of the county.

Geology: A complex geology that can be summarised as limestone in the south, mudstone in the north, sandstone in the south east, mostly overlain by till with some sands and gravels and alluvium in the valleys.

Topography: A slightly undulating plateau running south west – north east incised by valleys with streams.

Biodiversity:
Lowland Meadows – Small areas at Biddlesden Park, Longs Wood & Meadow and Akeley Playing Fields LWSs. Also semi improved neutral grassland at Foxcote Reservoir and Wood SSSI.
Fen – There is a small fen at Vyladd Marsh LWS.
Woodland – There are 15 woodland LWSs (and other potential BAP woodlands) in a belt between Evershaw and Wicken.
Wood Pasture & Parkland – Stowe contains extensive areas of parkland, and there are 2 parkland LWSs at Biddlesden Park and Old Tilehouse Park.
Eutrophic Standing Water – Foxcote Reservoir and Wood SSSI.
Reedbed – There is a small area of reedbed at Foxcote Reservoir and Wood SSSI.
Ponds – There are notable ponds at Foxcote Reservoir and Wood SSSI. There are numerous ponds scattered right across the area.
Hedgerows – Much of the area outside the Stowe Parklands is made up of pre-18th century enclosures so these may contain species rich hedgerows.

Targets:
Lowland Meadows –Management, Restoration, Creation
Lowland Fen –Management, Restoration
Woodland – Management, Restoration
Wood Pasture & Parkland – Management, Restoration
Eutrophic Standing Water – Management
Reedbed – Management
Ponds – Management, Restoration, Creation
Hedgerows – Management, Restoration
Lowland Heathland – Management, Restoration, Creation

Archeology:
There are concentrations of ridge and furrow at Akeley, Lillingstone and around Stowe. Stowe (including Old Tilehouse Park) is a registered park and garden. Part of a much larger Mediaeval Hunting Forest.

Places to visit:
National Trust own Stowe. BBOWT manage Foxcote Reservoir.