Rock Edge Nature Reserve

Who would have thought that Oxford had its very own coral sea bed?
Well it did millions of years ago when the county was under shallow, warm water.
Even today you can see the fossils within the quarry walls.

Because of the geology, the quarry within Rock Edge is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

How to get there

Rock Edge sits on the corner of Old Road, Headington OX3 8NE, and Windmill Road.

There is no on-site parking, although there is limited residential parking for up to 2 hours. Please check road signage for suitable parking bays.

Buses through Headington towards Cowley and Wood Farm stop near the entrance to The Nuffield Orthopaedic Hospital. The bus stop is a short walk away.


Things to do

Fossil hunting

Look at the rock face and see if you can spot the fossils. Please do not collect fossils from the rock face, but collect the fragments that have fallen at the base of the face.

Picnic time

Make use of the open grass areas for a get-together, family picnic or having your lunch break.


Wander through the maze of pathways and see what you can see?

Forest Schools

Rock Edge is one venue that our team use to deliver Forest School activities to schools and groups. If you would like to come along or to use the site, please get in touch.


We offer regular volunteering opportunities or working parties across Oxford. If you would like to find out more, visit our Volunteering page.


Volunteers from the Friends of Lye Valley have completed many surveys of Rock Edge. Full species lists are available from the Friends of Lye Valley website.

Notable species include:

  • Bird's foot trefoil
  • Evening primrose
  • Common restharrow
  • Lemon balm
  • Weld
  • Cowslip 
  • Bladder campion
Membership bodies

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