Trees, plants and wildlife at Theydon Bois

Close-up of butterfly on flower

Brimstone butterfly on red clover (Photo: WTML/Libby Owen)

Trees

Tree species planted on the site include oak, ash, field maple, hazel, hornbeam, crab apple, grey sallow, aspen, downy birch, hawthorn, alder, holly, buckthorn and dogwood.

The new woodland links established woodland at either end of the site: the ancient woodland to the south and the mature mixed broadleaved secondary woodland to the north-west. These woods contain mature oak and hornbeam, and an understory of mature hawthorn.

Plants

There is a 50-metre (164-foot) wildflower meadow near the small stream which cuts through the site, and an orchard with 45 apple trees has been planted in this section. Meadow grasses and wildflowers flourish under the young apple trees.

These include common bent, crested dogstail, sheep’s fescue, smooth stalked meadow grass, chewings fescue, small leaved timothy, yarrow, common knapweed, birdsfoot trefoil, cowslip, self-heal, common vetch, wild red clover, lady's bedstraw, ribwort plantain and black medick (nonesuch, hop clover). Open areas have buttercup, daisy, cow parsley, white clover, tuberous pea, common vetch, pink campion and dandelion.

In the autumn, blackberries, rosehips and elderberries can be picked throughout the site.

Wildlife

The young woodland is providing a home for an increasing amount of wildlife. Birds recorded on the site include swallow, sparrow, goldfinch and buzzard. Bird and bat boxes have been erected in mature trees to encourage other birds as well as the pipistrelle bat, which inhabits the local area. Rabbits and the occasional muntjac deer can also be spotted in the wood.

The site supports a wide range of insect species such as ladybird, beetle, lacewing and mayfly. Butterflies and moths include the brimstone, green-veined white, small heath, common blue, orange tip, yellow shell and meadow brown. Dragonfly and damselfly species include the four-spot chaser, azure, southern and large red.