This area includes Windsor Great Park SSSI along with adjacent parkland and various areas to the south with similar habitats including Silwood Park, some large woodlands, Ascot racecourse and a number of sites on the edge of Ascot. Windsor Forest and Great Park is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). It has the largest number of veteran oaks in the country and an important invertebrate fauna, including many rare species.
Joint Character Area: Thames Valley. The southern edge is in the Thames Basin Heaths Area.
Geology: the northern area including most of Windsor Great Park is London Clay Formation clay, silt and sand. In the south there are low hills and other areas, with areas of Bagshot Sand and topped by River Terrace Sand ands Gravels and with some bands of Head.
Topography: relatively flat in the north with a mixture of low hills, gently sloping valley sides and flatter areas in the south.
Parkland and Wood Pasture: Windsor Great Park is an extensive area of parkland and old wood pasture with large numbers of veteran trees. These support important specialist invertebrate and fungi populations. Further parkland is found to the north-west of the area. Parkland habitat is also found at Silwood Park.
Woodland: There are extensive areas of woodland. Many areas are ancient woodland though significant areas have been replanted in the past. In the wet valleys there is wet woodland with extensive areas at Silwood Park.
Acid Grassland: there are areas of acid grassland, especially in Windsor Great Park with remnants elsewhere.
Lowland Meadow: There are areas of lowland meadow habitat in Windsor Great Park and also extensive remnants of this habitat.
Standing Water: There are a variety of water bodies ranging from small ponds to large lakes, such as Virginia Water.
Fen: there are a number of acidic flushes in grassland sites in the south, such as on Primrose Hill, and remnants of rush pasture habitat in places. There is also some swamp habitat fringing some of the water bodies.
Heathland: though not extensive, there are areas of heathland in Windsor Great Park and remnants at Ascot Race Course.
Access: Many areas of Windsor Great Park are accessible.
Targets and opportunities: management of parkland and wood pasture, management of woodland, management and restoration of lowland meadow, acid grassland, heathland and fen habitat. Natural England have worked closely with Crown Estates in the management of management of Windsor Great Park.
The Crown Estate has a Biodiversity Action Plan which includes the Windsor Estate.
If you would like to get involved with projects in this BOA please contact us for current opportunities.