Ouse Valley

The Ouse Valley runs right across the county from Whitfield in the west to Olney in the east. The stretch of the Ouse Valley in Milton Keynes only is included in the BOA. The BOA connects with the Yardley Chase and the Bedfordshire Wetland Opportunity Area.

Area Coverage:4338 ha
Local wildlife sites: 5
BAP Habitat: 
Lowland Calcareous Grassland: 3 ha
Lowland Wood-Pasture and Parkland: 28 ha
Reedbeds: 2.5 ha
Coastal & Floodplain Grazing Marsh: 84.5 ha

Joint Character Area: Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Claylands

Landscape Types: Predominantly agricultural unwooded.

Geology: Mudstone overlain by sand, silt and gravels.

Topography: A narrow meandering river valley – at its broadest north of Milton Keynes. There are confluences with 2 main valleys – the Ouzel from the south and the Tove from the north.

Rivers & Streams – The Ouse is a predominantly natural river flowing across the county and creating a corridor for the dispersal of biodiversity. Otters have been spotted along its entire length in Bucks and MK.
Floodplain Grazing Marsh – Areas to the north of Milton Keynes, around Olney and in the Tove Valley have been identified as Floodplain Grazing Marsh.
Calcareous Grassland – Old Limestone Quarry LWS near Calverton contains calcareous grassland as well as neutral grassland species. There are degraded calcareous grasslands around Olney.
Eutrophic Standing Water – There is an open water LWS – Kickles Pits and Gayhurst Quarry in Newport Pagnell. North of Milton Keynes there are numerous other areas of eutrophic standing water – mostly flooded
gravel workings that are valuable for birdlife. These include the Hanson Centre and the Stony Stratford Nature Reserve.
Reedbeds / Wet Woodland – The gravel site at Wolverton is to be reinstated as a floodplain forest including reedbeds, wet woodland, fen and lowland meadow habitats.
Hedgerows – There is a concentration of pre-18th century enclosures between Tyringham and Emberton which may contain species rich hedgerows.

Rivers & Streams –Management, Restoration
Lowland Meadows – Restoration, Creation
Lowland Calcareous Grassland –Management, Restoration
Woodland – – Management, Restoration, Creation
Lowland Fen – Management, Creation
Eutrophic Open Standing Water – Management, Restoration, Creation
Reedbeds – Creation
Hedgerows – Management, Restoration, Creation
Ponds – Management, Restoration, Creation
Wood Pasture and Parkland – Management, Restoration, Creation

Places to visit:
Stony Stratford Nature Reserve is owned by Milton Keynes Parks Trust. There are riverside walks in Buckingham and some sections north of Milton Keynes.