The historic woodlands at Wytham are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with parts dating as far back as the Ice Age. During the pandemic, they stayed open for the many University research projects which are hosted there.
Beyond science, Wytham is a beautiful and enchanted place to visit and appreciate the splendour of trees that are hundreds of years old, as well as the varied flora and fauna that have made the woods their habitat.
Find out more about Wytham Woods.
First, you must apply for a walking permit.
The Woods are open every day, including bank holidays (except when essential management work has to be undertaken), from 10am to dusk on weekdays and dawn to dusk at weekends.
You don’t need a walking permit to attend events, but check whether you need to book in advance.
After two years of pandemic lockdowns, Wytham is welcoming us back to a series of events planned for 2022.
Being for Beginners
A two-day series of Being for Beginners workshops organised by Oxford Earth Academy will take place in the dappled shade of the old oak trees, designed to help you improve wellbeing in
your life and work. Enjoy a couple of days at Wytham to grow in understanding and think practically about how to bring greater wellbeing to your life.
7–8 May Booking required
2–3 July Booking required
The Anagama Japanese pottery kilns will be firing 12–16 May. Visitors can drop in during this period to see what is going on. The artist, Robin Wilson,
will be exhibiting a collection of ceramics from last year’s kiln firings and prints.
John Blandy, one of Wytham’s artists in residence, will be exhibiting at the Sawmills Barn. John has been painting the Woods since
2015, beautifully illustrating the progress of Wytham’s trees through the passage of time, including the veteran ash tree (pictured).
Susan Neale will be giving watercolour demonstrations 10am–12pm on 7 May. Susan is a painting tutor for both the RHS and the National Trust and exhibits with the New English Art Club (NEAC)
and the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour at the Mall Galleries London. Booking required.
Woodland walk and nature book chat
This is a fun, informal opportunity to meet people interested in reading books about nature, climate and related issues. Start with a walk through the beautiful spring woods before heading to the Chalet for hot drinks and a discussion of the books people
have brought along. Find out more about the woodland walk and nature book chat.
The Woods come to Town
9 July, 2–4.30pm, Oxford University Museum of Natural History
A series of lectures from Wytham’s leading scientists and researchers have been organised to coincide with the launch of the new Wytham Woods guidebook. Details to be confirmed; see the Wytham Woods website for up-to-date news.
Grow your own oak tree
Mighty oaks grow from little acorns, and this is your opportunity to grow your own. Plant for posterity in the new and specially created Bear Wood.
The scheme is a fundraiser with a target of £50,000, which will support one-off projects such as restoring ponds, managing veteran trees and public engagement.
The Woods’ fundraising appeal in October will ask donors if they wish to register for an acorn, which they will receive in November along with instructions for germination and early growth. Bring your seedling oak tree back to Wytham in 2024, where it
will be planted in the new wood.
Find out more about Wytham Woods..
75 years of study
Wytham Woods is the home of the longest-running biological dataset on birds worldwide, and 1,100 nest boxes are checked every year. The Wytham tit project has been running for 75 years, investigating the long-term
population of the great tit and blue tit.
Read more about the study of tits in spring time.
Watch: 75 years of Great Tit study
Watch The Birds Living in Big Brother.
Darwin Tree of Life
Wytham is one of the ten institutions involved in the first phase of the national genome project, which will ultimately see researchers collect and barcode the genetic material of around 60,000 species in the UK. The Wytham beech tree (pictured) is the
representative genome for all the beech trees in the UK, and it will soon acquire a blue plaque.
Find out more about Wytham Woods’ involvement in the Darwin Tree of Life..
Watch Can gene research change the world?
Ash dieback disease
Sadly the Woods are not exempt from ash dieback – the fungal disease which could devastate up to 90% of all the ash trees in the UK within the next couple of years. Researchers are studying the impact of the disease on the entire woodland system, from
the rate at which the trees are dying to the effects on fauna such as bats, bird, moths and earthworms.
Find out more about the research into ash dieback disease at Wytham Woods.
Watch Ash: a Silent Extinction in the Woods
The ongoing Laboratory with Leaves series presents a behind-the-scenes look into the wonderful world of Wytham Woods.
The flora and fauna at Wytham are regularly featured in the media, including the BBC’s Countryfile, Springwatch and Autumnwatch. Watch out for the foxes of Wytham in the BBC’s upcoming show Wild Isles.