Aerial view of Woodcote from the East (village entrance from A4074 in the bottom right corner)
Our village lies some 170 metres up at the south-western end of the Chiltern Hills, four miles from the point where the River Thames flows through the Goring Gap. Situated in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it is surrounded by beechwoods and the farmland that drops down towards the river valley.
The Woodcote Conservation Group is involved in maintaining and protecting the characteristic features of this environment, and in promoting awareness and appreciation of our local plants, wildlife and habitats. We organise regular working-parties and natural history walks, help out with national and local surveys, and hold public talks on topics of local environmental interest.
New members are always welcome: whether you want to get involved in pond maintenance, try your hand at some hedgelaying, take part in one of our natural history surveys, or simply show your support for our activities, do join us!
This is a map of the current civil parish of Woodcote, showing land use and other features, including listed buildings. It shows clearly the difference between the wooded upland (to the east) and the open fields of the lower land (to the west).
Click on the image below to view the full map.
This pattern is characteristic of many South Chiltern parishes, relatively narrow strips of land running from the Thames up to the woods and heaths on the tops of the Chilterns. Until 1953 Woodcote was the upland part of the parish of South Stoke, a typical South Chiltern parish. Our present civil parishes derive from the land-holdings of the Anglo-Saxon period. At that time and right up to the Industrial Revolution the economy of England was agricultural and local. An estate that included the river, for fish and water-power; water meadows for grazing; arable land for crops; woodland for wood fuel and wood for building and making tools and furniture; and heaths and commons for rough grazing was one that was very self-sufficient.
The map also shows listed buildings. Twentieth-century buildings dominate in Woodcote, but we have ten listed buildings: some, like St Leonard’s Church on South Stoke Road, buildings open to all, while others might be private homes hidden from view.
The map is based on work done by the WCG Environmental Audit Team over the course of 2011, and it presents a snapshot of the village at the end of that year. This is an ongoing project, and the WCG plans to produce regularly updated versions of the map.
Members of the Conservation Group on the Summer 'Walking Party', August 2007
A NASA picture of Britain during January 2013. The highlands of Southern England including the Chilterns and the Berkshire Downs are clearly outlined by the snow, as is the Goring Gap.
WCG members were closely involved in the Natural Environment Working Group of the Woodcote Parish Plan. For the final report of the Natural Environment group click here.
Queries and further information
For any queries or further information about the Woodcote Conservation Group and its activities, please contact us.
Last updates to this website:
9 June 2013 (Reports: Added 2013 Spring Bird Walk)
30 August 2013 (Reports: Added 2013 Summer Bird Walk)
13 October 2013 (Reports: Added 2013 Autumn Bird Walk)