Brush Hill Nature Reserve The Chiltern Society

Other notable residents

The understorey and ground flora of the Common provide ideal habitat for rodents such as bank voles and wood mice, birds such as chiffchaff and wren, and reptiles like toads and newts.

Glow-wormWoodland plants thrive here, particularly the sweet-smelling honeysuckle – an important plant for a huge variety of insects, birds and mammals. Did you know for example, that dormice use honeysuckle bark as their primary nesting material?

Here, parasitic bolete (Pseudoboletus parasiticus) can be seen growing on an earthball fungus. Quite rare in Buckinghamshire, it is only recorded growing in one other place in the county. Due to its local rareness we ask visitors not to disturb this fungus.

Oak trees can live for more than 1000 years. Our 100 year-old specimens are merely youngsters in comparison.


The oaks on the Common, many of which are around a hundred years old, host many hole-nesting birds which rely on this sort of habitat.

The green tortrix moth caterpillars, which devour the spring leaves of the oaks, ensure a wide variety of birds have plenty to feed to their young.

In the Spring, the Common is alive with birdlife. A cacophony of bird song will greet the morning visitor to the site.

The whistling call of the nuthatch can be noted as it scuttles down, as well as up tree trunks and branches. The treecreeper, which is also found here, goes almost exclusively upwards on trees in a meandering helix around the trunk, before flying down to the bottom of another tree.

The numbers

Lesser spotted woodpeckers are in danger of extinction.

16 species of bird have been recorded nesting and rearing their young on the Common. Importantly, the Common is home to all three species of woodpecker to be found all year round in the UK.

A recent survey of the botanical species on the Common listed 73 species.