Buying a bird hide key | Oxfordshire County Council

Buying a bird hide key

How to buy a key for the bird hides at the Rushy Common and Standlake Common nature reserves.

Man using bird hide

Buy a key for only £15 and you will then have unlimited access to the bird hide and screen at Rushy Common Nature Reserve and the two hides at Standlake Common Nature Reserve.

How to apply


Complete the form below and send £15 to the Lower Windrush Valley Project via one of the following options. Once your form and payment have been received we will post you the key. Please allow up to a week for the key to be received.

Option 1: Bank Transfer

Transfer Amount: £15
Sort code: 30-80-12
Account number: 13600260
Payment reference: LWVP Your Surname

Option 2: Cheque

Please post a cheque for £15, made payable to Oxfordshire County Council, to the following address:

Lower Windrush Valley Project
c/o Oxfordshire County Council
Ron Groves House
23 Oxford Road

Blue Badge holders

Please include your Blue Badge number and we will send you the code for access to the Standlake Common Nature Reserve car park.

Key holder conditions of use

Thank you for your interest in visiting the bird hides on our two nature reserves in the Lower Windrush Valley. Both Standlake Common Nature Reserve and Rushy Common Nature Reserve are managed by the Lower Windrush Valley Project on behalf of their landowners and keys are available to all who wish to access the hides subject to the following conditions.

Public liability

Access to the bird hides is possible thanks to the landowners taking on the public liability associated with this activity. We do therefore ask that you only access the hides via the waymarked footpaths and do not stray around the margins of the lakes, as it disturbs the wildlife and we can accept no liability for anyone trespassing on the reserves. Each time you visit the hides please sign the visitor’s book. When you leave, please make sure the windows are closed and the door is securely locked. Any problems should be reported as soon as possible to the project office.

Car parking

Rushy Common has its own car park, which is open to the public at all times and provides direct access to the bird hide via a 250m permissive footpath. Please do use the car park and do not park on the verges along Cogges Lane at any time. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer car parking on or adjacent to the Standlake Common Nature Reserve, except for the small area next to Langley’s Lane Bird Hide which is for blue badge holders only and is now only accessible if you have the code for the padlock on the gate. Visitors are encouraged to use public transport wherever possible when visiting the Standlake Common Nature Reserve but if you do need to arrive by car please park considerately in Standlake Village and walk up to the nature reserve using the public rights of way.

The key

Your key can be used for the hides on both nature reserves and potentially any number of locks or padlocks we may use in the valley in the future. They are also designed so that they can only be cut by the LWVP, which eliminates the risk of unauthorised copying.

Keyholder's declaration

By typing my name here I confirm that I have read, and agree to abide by, the conditions of use for the bird hides and confirm I would like to apply for a key on this basis.

Data Protection Statement

The information provided as part of this application form will be held in order to keep a record for insurance purposes and to allow information about the site to be passed on to you as appropriate. Your personal information will be held and used in compliance with the requirements of all applicable legislation. Personal information will not be shared with any other organisation unless it is permitted or required by law and then only if an acceptable procedure is agreed with that other organisation.

Here is our full Privacy Notice (pdf format, 72Kb).

In person

You can visit the Red Lion pub at Northmoor where Ian and Lisa have kindly agreed to keep some key packs for sale. Please check opening hours before you travel. Stop off for a drink or a meal while you pick up your key pack. They will take cash or a cheque made payable  to Oxfordshire County Council

About the sites

Both sites have a variety of habitats with a central large body of open water but also ponds, ditches, hedges and scrub and grassland that add to the variety of wildlife on show.

The bird species record list at Rushy Common is 120 with 165 being the total seen at Standlake since 2000. At times there are significant numbers of individual species such as lapwing, coot and tufted duck.

Every year we hope for successful breeding from a few pairs of redshank and lapwing but sadly they are usually defeated by the weather or predators. However, other species breed in good numbers and the young are a delight to watch especially the great crested grebes in their ‘stripy pyjamas’ and the tufted ducks ‘little chocolate brown bundles of fluff’.

The lakes provide a great feeding and watering rest stop for migrating birds and you can often see huge numbers of hirundines and swifts in spring as they arrive from the continent or stocking up in the autumn before they fly south again.

The varied habitats also support a diverse range of invertebrates with the dragonflies and damselflies giving fantastic displays in the summer months. A stunning sight is to be had when the mayflies hatch from the water which appears to be boiling as the flies take to the air for their brief adult phase of life.

You may be lucky enough to see the fish jumping and the acrobatics of many birds as they feed on this fantastic food source.  Mammals are generally less easy to see but you may get occasional glimpses of deer, foxes and other small mammals.

Even on a quiet day when there is not much about you will enjoy the tranquil settings, the shifting light and changing seasons at both of these delightful sites. And you never know just what is going to zoom into sight just as you are packing up to go home.

Last reviewed
17 October 2017
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