South Bucks Heaths and Parklands

This area covers a large proportion of South Buckinghamshire and contains a central core of commons, heathland and wood pasture, including Burnham Beeches, Stoke Common and Black Park. This BOA connects with Colne Valley and Thames Valley.

Area Coverage: 5662 ha
Local wildlife sites: 5
SSSI: 15
BAP Habitat: 
Lowland Mixed Deciduous Woodland: 251 ha
Lowland Dry Acid Grassland: 1 ha
Lowland Calcareous Grassland: 2 ha
Lowland Beech & Yew Woodland: 162 ha
Lowland Meadow: 5.5 ha
Wet Woodland: 19 ha
Lowland Heath: 65 ha
Lowland Fens: 3.5 ha

Joint Character Area: Thames Valley

Landscape Types: Agricultural wooded

Geology: Mostly mudstone overlain by sands and gravels. Small areas around Dorney Wood and Cliveden and in the Alderbourne Valley are chalk.

Topography: A generally flat plateau cut in the centre by the Alderbourne Valley. The areas to the south of Stoke Poges and to the east of Black Park are lower (by around 40m) and flatter and form part of the ancient river terraces of the Thames and Colne.

This area contains a complex mosaic of many BAP priority habitats.
Heathland – The key heathland sites are Stoke Common, Black Park and Burnham Beeches. However a much wider area was once heathland and relict habitat can still be found in some areas.
Acid Grassland – The key acid grassland sites are as per heathland.
Calcareous Grassland – There is one calcareous grassland site at Clivenden.
Fen – There are wet flushes in the west of the area, at Burnham Beeches and at Black Park.
Hedgerows – There are several areas with concentrations of pre-18th century enclosures where there are species rich hedges. As some areas were once part of large parklands there are also likely to be veteran trees located in some hedgerows.
Lowland Meadows –. There are also two sites around Stoke Poges and Wexham.
Ponds – There are BAP quality ponds in Littleworth Common and Burnham Beeches and potential ponds across the area. The temporary ponds on heathlands are important for Starfruit.
Traditional Orchards – There are potential BAP orchards around Langley.
Woodland – The whole area is heavily wooded – with a concentration of BAP woods centring on Burnham Beeches and Littleworrth Common.
Wood Pasture & Parkland – Burnham Beeches SAC contains wood pasture with large number of ancient pollards. There are many parkland sites including Black Park, Langley Park, Dorney, Clivenden and Dropmore.

Lowland Heathland – Management, Restoration, Creation
Lowland Dry Acid Grassland – Management, Restoration, Creation
Lowland Calcareous Grassland – Management
Lowland Fen – Management, Restoration, Creation
Hedgerows – Management, Restoration
Lowland Meadows – Management, Restoration, Creation
Ponds – Management, Restoration, Creation
Traditional Orchards – Management, Restoration
Wood Pasture & Parkland – Management, Restoration, Creation
Woodland – Management, Restoration

There are several registered parks and gardens – Clivendon, Dorney, Dropmore, Hedsor House, Langley Park, Hall Barn, Stoke Park and Stoke Park Garden of Remembrance. There are additionally 4 SAMs.

Places to visit:
Burnham Beeches and Stoke Common (City of London)

Langley Park (Buckinghamshire Council)

Black Park (Buckinghamshire Council)

Cliveden (National Trust)

Ingrams Copse (Woodland Trust)

Littleworth Common (open access)