Sulham and Tidmarsh Woods and Meadows

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Sulham Woods is a 74 hectares (180 acres) Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Berkshire, England near the villages of Purley-on-Thames, Tilehurst, Sulham, and Tidmarsh.[1]

Previously known as Pang Valley SSSI, most of the southern part of the site is the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust's Moor Copse Nature Reserve. The whole site lies within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.[2]

The SSSI consists of five areas.

Location Unit area (Ha) Main habitat
51°28′13″N 1°04′58″W / 51.4704°N 1.0828°W / 51.4704; -1.0828 15.24 Acid grassland - lowland
51°27′57″N 1°04′43″W / 51.4659°N 1.0786°W / 51.4659; -1.0786 15.48 Broadleaved, mixed and yew woodland - lowland
51°27′38″N 1°05′04″W / 51.4605°N 1.0844°W / 51.4605; -1.0844 27.57 Broadleaved, mixed and yew woodland - lowland
51°27′18″N 1°04′49″W / 51.4551°N 1.0803°W / 51.4551; -1.0803 7.70 Broadleaved, mixed and yew woodland - lowland
51°27′57″N 1°04′59″W / 51.4659°N 1.0831°W / 51.4659; -1.0831 9.76 Neutral grassland - lowland

The site is in a broad valley of unusually varied alluvial loams, gravel terraces and peat deposits, resulting from flooding in late glacial times by an enlarged River Kennet. The variety in soils and topography results in a mosaic of damp copses and seasonally flooded meadow communities, maintained here by a long history of coppicing and sympathetic grassland husbandry. The woodland on the site supports a rich invertebrate fauna including over 300 species of moth.[3]


The woodland area serves as an excellent location for dog-walkers, hikers, and those looking for solitude. One area of the woods, the gravel pits, are used as ramps and steep dirt-tracks by mountain bikers. This area is known as "death-drop".


Coordinates: 51°27′36″N 1°05′02″W / 51.460°N 1.084°W / 51.460; -1.084