Back to reserve map

Glapthorn Cow Pastures

This year, the hairstreaks emerged on 3 June, two weeks earlier than expected. Numbers were slightly down on last year, with high winds for the most part a contributory factor. Only a few tatty specimens are about and so we are regretfully cancelling the open day that was scheduled for Sunday 25 June. (On a brighter note, there are silver-washed fritillaries flying along the main ride in the north of the wood).


A mix of scrub and woodland, where nightingale breeds and a rare butterfly dwells

This Site of Special Scientific Interest features different habitats that provide homes for a mix of wildlife. The mature woodland in the northern half of the reserve is dominated by ash, while the southern part is mainly blackthorn with some oak. Primroses in the spring are followed by bluebells and earlypurple and common-spotted orchids. Nuthatch and warblers can be heard, and the reserve is a nesting site for nightingales.

In summer, the black hairstreak butterfly perches on flowering brambles weaving from plant to plant with its characteristically jerky flight. The caterpillars feed on blackthorn and we have created protected fenced areas of coppiced blackthorn to ensure the best habitat for these rare creatures, whose range is restricted to a few woods between Oxford and Peterborough.

Elsewhere in the wood, we thin trees as needed to promote an open woodland structure and manage the grassy glades and rides.

Click on the link below right for a downloadable guide to Glapthorn Cow Pastures.



Glapthorn Cow Pasture reserve map


The map below is for indication purposes only and does not show the Wildlife Trusts definitive land boundary.

Nearby nature reserves

Short Wood and Southwick Wood
1 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
6 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Old Sulehay
6 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire

Nature reserve map

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2012. For indicative purposes does not show exact boundaries.

Reserve information

2.5 miles from
Map reference
TL 006 903
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
28.00 hectares

Walking information
Rides are wide and generally level although they can become wet and muddy in winter
Park on broad verge of lane on the left opposite reserve entrance
Dogs under effective control
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Tel: 01604 405285


Factsheets and guides for your visit