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Friends of Lye Valley


Lye Valley, Autumn 2023 Photograph of Lye Valley in Autumn 2023 by Tony Gillie

The Lye Valley SSSI, Headington, Oxford, is a 14,000-year-old internationally rare habitat, a tufa-forming valley-head alkaline spring fen. It represents 1.5 ha of only 19 ha of this habitat left in all England and supports over 20 species of plant rare in Oxfordshire of which 14 are on the England Red List. It also hosts ten species of rare and 27 species of nationally scarce invertebrates, notably soldier flies and glow worms, as well as thriving populations of reptiles and amphibians.

The northern SSSI section is in the centre of the Lye Valley Local Nature Reserve (also a Local Wildlife Site). The Lye Brook and footpath run through the middle of the reserve. We also care for the flowery calcareous grassland of nearby Rock Edge old quarry Local Nature Reserve. Rock Edge is part of the crucial rainwater catchment and infiltration area for the springs which keep the valley spring-fen wet and ensure the formation of limy tufa, essential to the special wildlife.

Slideshow: Flowers and insects in the Lye Valley

Chairman's Report for 2021/22


We are a group of people who are working to protect and preserve this internationally-important site for wildlife in
the Headington area. To become a Member or make a donation please contact friendsoflyevalley@yahoo.co.uk

Friends of Lye Valley, 2013–2022