Oxfordshire has a rich nature conservation resource, with four National Nature Reserves, more than one hundred Sites of Special Scientific Interest, seven Special Areas of Conservation, many local nature reserves, and over 200 conservation areas across Oxfordshire There are three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the county: the Chiltern Hills, the Cotswolds and the North Wessex Downs.

Climate change

General information on climate change is available at Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

The UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) helps organisations to adapt to inevitable climate change. UKCIP have published UK-wide maps showing predicted climate changes through to 2080.


The Environment Agency publishes a range of online data and maps covering local water quality, regional river quality, discharges to water, pesticides, flood risk maps, water use and water pollution incidents, on their pages on water. Oxfordshire is part of the Thames Water region. Key facts for the area can be found on the Environment Agency Thames Region site.

Ofwat, the economic regulator of the water and sewerage industries in England and Wales, work closely with a wide range of other stakeholders. Ofwat reports provide statistics on water consumption, leakages and water efficiency by water company . Oxfordshire's water services are provided by Thames water.

Air quality

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) provides a variety of information on air quality on its Air Information Resource (AIR) pages. In addition to the DEFRA information, local air quality is monitored across the county by the District Councils:

Local authorities are required to identify any areas where pollutant levels are likely to exceed National Air Quality Strategy objectives and where necessary, will declare a local Air Quality Management Area (AQMA).

Minerals and Waste

Defra publish quarterly Local Authority collected waste statistics. In terms of definitions, this note sets out the background to the change in terminology and definition of ‘municipal waste’ reporting in policy and statistical terms. 

Oxfordshire County Council's Minerals and Waste team holds statistics on minerals extracted in the county.


Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre (TVERC) holds extensive data on plants, animals, wildlife, habitats and sites of interest for Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

Oxfordshire Wildlife and Landscape Study (OWLS) provides comprehensive maps and information about landscape types down to parish level as well as information about priority habitats in the county.

DEFRA publish data on a range of biodiversity indicators as well as Censuses of land use, horticulture and agriculture, with some data available down to local authority level.