Oakley Wood

Oakley Wood (FC), Bernwood Forest, Oxon.  The whole Bernwood complex is renowned for iris, though the butterfly is nothing like as numerous as it was 25 years ago.  The population seems to be picking up now.  One of the best areas is the oak stand in the main Oakley Wood car park, SP 612117, where the males seem to gather (they are hard to spot though, as the canopy is dense).  Males descend to the adjoining main ride, to visit things left behind by numerous canine visitors.  The stretch west of the stream is best, though the butterfly can be seen throughout the woodland block.  Easy access but some gentle slopes.  The main ride through Waterperry Wood, to the south, is also worth visiting, but is a much longer walk.