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Wildlife, trees and plants at Greyfield Wood

The wood is designated a County Wildlife Site and is home to fox, badger, rabbit, squirrel, vole, wood mouse, shrew and wild deer – both the tiny muntjac and the larger roe deer. The deer are not often seen, but their hoof prints or ‘slots’ in soft ground are evidence of their presence.

Greyfield Wood also supports a large bird population, including blue tit, great tit, thrush, tawny owl, and woodpecker. Buzzards can also be seen soaring above the canopy. Butterfly species include brimstone, speckled wood and silver washed fritillary.

(Photo: WTML)

The main tree species are ash, oak, birch, and hazel, as well as beech and sweet chestnut plantations dating from the early 20th century. Conifer species, including larch, spruce and Douglas fir, were planted in the 1960s.

The wood has a number of ash coppice stools (the stumps of trees that have been cut back to encourage growth). The young ash trees were cut at chest height when they reached 6ins (15cm) in diameter. The stumps then sprouted branches, which were harvested every few years for farming use. The stools carry on growing, slowly forming the interesting shapes seen today. Withy Copse is a younger area of ash coppice, and Ironmongers Copse is a hazel coppice.

In spring, the woodland floor, particularly at Highbury Hill, is carpeted with bluebell, wood anemone, cuckoo flower (lady’s smock), wood sorrel and yellow pimpernel.