Glow worm sites in and around Oxfordshire

A. Records published by Anthony Wootton (Country-Side 1971, 21 456-463 and 572-
574, and XXII, No 6, Spring 1974, 266-271.)

Thorpe Mandeville, Nr Banbury, early 1900s.
Chinnor Hill, reappeared July 1970 for first time for some years, last seen
before that c,1953-65 [See also site 238 below].
"Long Copse", Kiln Lane, Binfield Heath, Nr. Henley, 1 on bank of garden c. 4
years ago; not seen since.
Pishill, Nr. Henley, near house c. July 1973.
Fawley Bottom, Nr. Henley, c. 6 in gardens about 12 years ago; none seen now.

B. Sites reported to Robin Scagell
Site  Map    Location and details if any: f = (glowing) females
No    Ref
125 SP2813   Swinbrook churchyard, Burford, Oxon 10f 1991
114 SP352194 By station, Charlbury, Oxon 15f 1991
608 SP484022 Boars Hill, Since 1985 to at least 1990.
607 SP491019 Nature Reserve, Boars Hill. Over 20f, June 89.
606 SP492018 Private road, Boars Hill. 1f?, 1.5.88.
064 SP5509   Sydlings Copse, Oxford 1991
238 SP765007 Chinnor Hill NR, Stepping Hill Field, 1f July 91
134 SU725973 Beacon Hill, Aston Rowant, Oxon 150f 1991 {see Note}

Note. The site at Aston Rowant has been studied for some years. There are glow worms to be found all over the Aston Rowant reserve, but particularly on Beacon Hill, despite its proximity to the M40. This is a very important site, since any future streetlighting along the M40 could affect the colony. Beacon Hill is quite a large area, but it would be worth keeping a record of numbers seen, and also in the surrounding area. One female was reported in 1990 near Hill Farm, but normally this area does not have glow worms. About eight larvae were reported by John Tyler from the track at the bottom of Beacon Hill, beneath the
trees, in April 1992, and this is where larvae are often seen. I visit the site myself when I can, but the more accurate records the better.

It appears that numbers of glow worms on the scarp slope of Beacon Hill have declined considerably since the early 1990s. On one memorable night in 1994 I saw about 250 on this hillside alone, though the next night there was a cold snap and the number declined to eight, though subsequent years were up around the 60s and 70s. In 1999 and 2000 I have seen only a handful on the scarp itself, though itís quite possible that I missed the peak nights.
 Robin Scagell