WOODLAND

The woodland is probably one of the oldest in the area. The main trees are Oak and Downy Birch with Holly and Ivy as an undershrub. The wetter areas have Sallow. A carpet of Bluebells extends through much of the area together with Foxglove, Ground Ivy, Speedwells, Wood Sorrel and Violets in the sunnier glades and Broad-leaved Helleborine alongside the main track. The three main species of trees support a wide variety of insects the more visible ones being butterflies including the Speckled Wood, Green Hairstreak and Purple Hairstreak. The abundance of insects, bugs, mites and spiders attracts resident and migrant birds. Chaffinch, Blackcap, Chiff Chaff, Wren and Dunnock are present here together with Green Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk and Tawny Owl.

Blue Tits and Great Tits breed here in nesting boxes. They can collect up to 7000 caterpillars for each brood – indicating that the woodland is indeed thriving with insect life. The woodland floor would be cluttered with fallen trees if it were not for decomposers such as bacteria and fungi and an army of wood-boring beetles, millipedes and woodlice. This ‘underworld’ is also the niche for woodmice which eat seeds, berries and fungi and an army of wood-boring beetles, millipedes and woodlice. This 'underworld' is also the niche for woodmice which eat seeds, berries and fungi.