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Farmoor Reservoir Oxfordshire

Latest Rarities in Oxfordshire

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Causeway, facing east towards Sailing Club; FI to the left, FII to the right.
Dave Dunford
Causeway, facing east towards Sailing Club; FI to the left, FII to the right.

Site Location Details

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Site Details

Owned and administered by Thames Water, Farmoor Reservoir is the largest single area of open water in Oxfordshire, and is probably its most-visited birdwatching site. The two large concrete basins (Farmoor 1 to the north, F2 to the south, divided by a causeway) act as a magnet to overflying migrants, and the site has produced an impressive list of rarities, including many county firsts. Beyond the reservoir in a meander of the River Thames is Pinkhill Reserve, a series of shallow pools overlooked by a spacious hide (key required). A second reserve south of the pumping station, christened The Shrike Meadow, was officially opened on 5th May 2000 and will further enhance the site.

Contact Details

Telephone: Warden's Lodge: 01865 863033.

Birding Sites in the Farmoor Reservoir Area

Additional Site Details


Farmoor Reservoir is widely signposted on brown tourist information signs.

From central Oxford: leave Oxford via A420 Botley Road; pass under the A34 Western Bypass and turn right into Eynsham Road (B4044). Pass under the A420, then turn left at a mini-roundabout in Farmoor village after approx. 1½ miles (*). The car park is at Gate 3, on the right after approximately ½ mile.

From A40 eastbound: leave the A40 at the roundabout just east of Eynsham; turn right (signposted Stanton Harcourt). At the second roundabout turn left into Wharf Road (signposted Botley via toll bridge). Cross the Swinford toll bridge (the toll for a car is 5p as of August 1999). Turn right at the mini-roundabout in Farmoor village and follow instructions from (*) above.

From A34: leave the A34 at Botley Interchange, following A420 west (signposted Swindon). Leave at the first exit, after approximately ½ mile (signposted Farmoor). Turn right at the bottom of the slip road, then turn left at a mini-roundabout in Farmoor village after approx. 1½ miles. Follow directions from (*) above.


Strictly speaking, a permit is required to enter the reservoir surrounds. The reserves can be overlooked from the Thames towpath.


At Gate 3 (SP451061&ar=y). Fee payable; opening hours vary with the season.

Opening Times

The reservoir gates are generally open during the hours of daylight.


Log book of bird sightings in "fishermen's lodge" (aka "Amenities Room") near the eastern end of the causeway. Hides at Shrike Meadow and Pinkhill (a key code is required for the latter site).

Key Areas / Routes

Pinkhill: SP439066
Shrike Meadow: SP439063
Concrete banks of causeway (SP443063) for waders and sometimes passerines. Large gull roost, and terns at passage times. Reserves hold breeding Common Tern, plus sometimes passage waders.

Site Photographs

If you would like to suggest a photo for this site, please email a copy to along with the website address for this page. A member of our team will review your photograph for suitability and will credit the image to you (unless you request otherwise).

Best regards,

The BirdGuides Team.

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British & Irish Records Archive Farmoor Reservoir

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