Brush Hill Nature Reserve The Chiltern Society

Scrubbed up well

It is hard to imagine that the site was as a motor vehicle dump until 1976. Since then, management of Prestwood Local Nature Reserve, to encourage a balance of scrub and grassland, has made the site the beautiful nature reserve it is today.

Full details of the flora and fauna at the site can be found by clicking ‘Wildlife’ in the menu above.

It's official

Prestwood LNR is located within the Chilterns’ Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It supports a mosaic of habitats including lowland calcareous grassland and lowland mixed deciduous woodland – plus a traditional orchard – habitats which are characteristic of the Chilterns and are listed as Priority Habitats for Action in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

About Prestwood LNR

More of the Chilterns was once chalk grassland, but modern farming practices – in order to grow more hay – mean that there is now very little remaining.

The Chalk grassland at Prestwood Local Nature Reserve –  also known as Prestwood Picnic Site – is carefully managed in order to prevent it becoming entirely woodland or scrub.

Pyramidal orchid

The site balances this nationally uncommon habitat with deciduous woodland and scrub in order to support a much wider diversity of flora and fauna than could otherwise exist on chalk grassland alone.

That’s one careful owner

From 1976 until late 2013, when the site was taken over by the Chiltern Society, Prestwood Local Nature Reserve was owned by Wycombe District Council (WDC) and managed by WDC Woodland Service with the support of Buckinghamshire County Council, Butterfly Conservation and Prestwood Nature Group.

Even though the site is just 4.8 acres, it is abundant with wildlife including an incredible diversity of fiora. In recognition of this and its value to the local community for recreation and study, the site was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 1993.

Name check

The name Prestwood is Anglo-Saxon (410-1066) in origin and comes from their description of the place, ‘préost wudu’ (priest wood or priest’s wood).