On a delightful spring morning at Marden Park, just inside the M25 in East Surrey, we enjoy a walk with expert site manager Nick. He fills us in on the plants, animals and people that benefit from this special place and explains some of the challenges here too, including dealing with the effects of ash dieback and climate change.

Wildlife is thriving at Marden Park thanks to a mixture of woodland, veteran trees, rare chalk grassland and more. We see butterflies and signs of badgers during our visit, and volunteer Celia tells us all about efforts to help the endangered dormouse here too. They're 'supremely cute' she tells us, but numbers have fallen so drastically that they're now protected and mustn't be disturbed unless you have a special licence like hers. Celia checks dormouse activity at the site as part of the important National Dormouse Monitoring Programme - it was a little early to spot any signs on our visit unfortunately, but I do hope these tiny creatures are found here soon. Now I know what to look for I'll be keeping a hopeful eye out for nibbled hazelnuts on my future woodland walks! 

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Explore more

New to the podcast?

Don’t miss our previous episodes, including:

  • England’s largest new native wood at Heartwood
  • Loch Arkaig, an ancient Scotland pine forest
  • how trees are making a difference on a Nottinghamshire farm
  • Ben Shieldaig, a great example of Scotland’s rainforest
  • the urban woods and trees of Leeds
  • Joyden’s Wood, a tranquil ancient wood close to London
  • the Trust’s largest site in England – Smithills Estate
  • the ambitious Northern Forest planting project 
  • the new young people’s forest at Mead
  • fascinating staff stories
  • a tour of our president Clive Anderson's garden
  • special tree-themed interviews with celebrities including Dan Snow, Alastair Campbell, Adrian Chiles, Cressida Cowell and Elaine Paige.

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I am keen to hear from you as well – so if you have a favourite woodland walk, do tell me about it in a short email. If you can, make a 5 minute or so recording of your own walk and we may feature your woodland walk in a future podcast.

I’ll be off on another woodland walk soon. Hope you can join me.

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