Hitchcopse Pit is described by the BBOWT as ‘an old sandpit with a fascinating array of plant and insect life’ so when planning my next nature reserve adventure, I naively passed it by and plonked for Dry Sandford Pit. Dry Sandford Pit was fantastic and I can highly recommend it. I shared some photos on Red Kite Day’s instagram page and @mumma.in.trainers kindly recommended the nearby by Hitchcopse Pit nature reserve.
Hitchcopse Pit can been added as an extension to the circular 5km Cothill Fen Wild Walk that starts in Wootton and takes in the three other nearby BBOWT nature reserves: Dry Sandford Pit, Parsonage Moor and Lashford Lane Fen. With little legs to contend with I made the wise decision to head straight to Hitchcopse Pit nature reserve.
Before I start rabbiting on about what fun we had there, I do have to mention parking and how to get to the nature reserve. There’s no car park and it’s not possible to drive right up to the entrance. We parked as recommended by the BBOWT website on a road called The Ride which is just off the A338.
Park there and then on the opposite side of the A338 and slightly to your right there is a small gap marked with a byway. Follow the byway for about 1/4 mile (it feels longer on the way there when you’re not sure where you’re going than it does on the way back). There are gardens on your right as you walk down the byway and the odd path going off on your left. Stick to the byway and there’s an obvious kissing gate with Nature Reserve sign on your left and then you know you’ve made it.
Once you pass through the gate, everything opens right up and you’re suddenly at Hitchcopse Pit nature reserve. Once a sand quarry, it’s now home to a diverse range of plants and insects. We only saw three other people there out with their big fancy cameras so I’m guessing it’s a pretty good place to go if you’re an avid wildlife photographer. Hitchcopse Pit Nature Reserve boasts marbled white and common blue butterflies in the summer, sand loving plants and lots of wonderful grasses and wildflowers.
It’s a really great place to explore and as so much of it is open it was great to let my boys run ahead discovering places to climb. We headed over to the centre of the pit where there are big flat stones, which would make an ideal family picnic spot. Just remember to take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints.
On the far side of the pit there are some great stones to climb up, leading you through bracken and up a great view point. At the top we spotted a tree and rope ladder which my three monkeys shot up.
Hitchcopse Pit is very much a natural playground, perfect to explore and enjoy the fresh air and free family fun. There’s also a small pond and lots of pathways leading off if you wanted a bigger adventure.