Oughtonhead Nature Reserve

Oughtonhead Nature Reserve © Charlotte Hussey


A mature alder and willow woodland running adjacent to the River Oughton.



OS Map Reference

TL 169 304
A static map of Oughtonhead

Know before you go

6 hectares

Parking information

No official parking. Drive to the end of Westmill Lane and park in layby.


Well paved path running adjacent to River Oughton.


No dogs permitted
No public access

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times, no public access to the reserve

Best time to visit

April to July

About the reserve

Oughtonhead is one of the larger fen woodlands in Hertfordshire. For such a small reserve the diversity of habitats is surprisingly large, comprising wet and dry woodland, fen, aquatic and water margin areas. In addition there are several ditches which are important for certain fen species. The reserve is an important habitat for birds such as kingfisher, water rail and woodcock, whilst mammals such as the water shrew may be seen.

Seasonal Highlights
 Kingfisher, frog, reed bunting, water rail.
Summer: Common blue damselfly, flag iris, pipstrelle bat.
Autumn/ winter: Fieldfare, goldcrest, redpoll, redwing, siskin.


Site entrance: No access to site itself. View reserve from public footpath on other side of the river.

Access by road: From Hitchin take A600 Bedford Road. At Ickleford turn left at the mini roundabout onto Westmill Lane. Park and take track towards the river, turn right and follow the footpath.

Access by public transport
80, 81 – Swinburne Avenue (0.5 miles).
Rail: Hitchin (2 miles).

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It costs on average £30 per month to care for each acre of our nature reserves.