In August 2016, the County released a draft Oxford Natural Heritage System Study (ONHSS). The study identifies the County’s ‘ecologically important’ natural heritage features and areas and the broader natural heritage system using up to date information and ecological science and provides recommendations on various measures to protect, restore, and where possible, improve the system and its component features and areas.
The ONHSS found that approximately 34,000 hectares, or 16.7%, of the County’s land area is covered by natural vegetation, of which approximately 80.5% was determined to be ‘ecologically important’. The County’s total percentage of natural vegetation cover is comprised of 13.2% woodlands, 2.9% meadows and/or thickets, and 0.6% water features, with approximately 6.7% also identified as wetlands (overlap with other natural features).
The ONHSS builds on the previous 2006 Oxford Natural Heritage System Study.
Oxford Natural Heritage Study, 2016