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Visiting Aston Wood and Juniper Bank in the Chilterns Countryside

Aston Wood in winter with bare trees and a track covered with brown leaves
Aston Wood in the winter | © National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole

Aston Wood and Juniper Bank are two contrasting areas of beech woodland on opposite sides of the A40 road, northwest of Stokenchurch. These quiet woodlands are ideal for walking, and they’re great places to see woodland wildlife.

Things to see at Aston Wood

Aston Wood, on the south side of the A40, is a great place to look out for red kites, buzzards, fallow deer, muntjac deer, woodland birds and butterflies. The beech woodland also contains a number of large flint and chalk pits, which once provided the materials for local house and road building. Smaller hollows may have been historic sawpits for the local furniture industry.

The trees of Aston Wood

About two thirds of the wood is beech forest. Ash and cherry, oak, whitebeam, sycamore and hornbeam share the canopy with holly, hawthorn and elder forming the sparse understorey. Rowan and hazel coppice stand at the eastern end, and the boundary bank is marked by three lime tree stumps.

A leafy path through Juniper Bank in Buckinghamshire in autumn
Juniper Bank in autumn | © National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole

Explore Juniper Bank

Juniper Bank, north of the A40, is a diverse woodland of beech and ash forest, and stands of alder and field maple. There’s also a steep bank of mixed scrub and chalk grassland with juniper trees.

Running uphill through the centre of the wood is a wide track; a short section of the medieval ‘London Weye’ from Oxford to London, once the main road between the two cities.

Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve

Both Aston Wood and Juniper Bank are close to the Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve, where there is a car park. The Aston Rowant NNR is managed by Natural England, assisted by the Oxford Conservation Volunteers. A large part of the reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

You can visit Aston Wood, Juniper Bank and the National Nature Reserve by following the Aston Rowant Discovery Trail from Aston Rowant Village at the foot of the Chiltern Escarpment

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