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Wildlife at Heartwood Forest

Volunteers from Hertfordshire Natural History Society and the Woodland Trust are monitoring populations of plants and wildlife during the changes to the site.

So far monitors have recorded 87 species of bird and 27 species of butterfly. A number of surveys have been completed, with more to come, including surveys on fungi, plants, invertebrates and amphibians. Get a full up-date from the Hertfordshire Natural History Society.

Birds identified at Heartwood

Monitoring of breeding birds has been carried out each year since 2009 and so far 87 species have been recorded at Heartwood.

From the start, barn owls have been seen hunting over the areas planted with saplings, particularly near the railway line, as these grassy areas are a good habitat for mice and voles.

In spring 2012 a barn owl nesting box was placed in a mature tree in a hedgerow within a newly planted area. Birds nested in the box in summer 2012, raising six chicks which were ringed in September. More nest boxes were added in 2013, designed to encourage tawny owls and kestrels as well as barn owls. In 2014 there were three barn owl broods and ten chicks were ringed by local expert, Colin Shawer.

Download our report to learn more about our long term monitoring of breeding birds

Birds seen on site include resident species and seasonal visitors such as:

  • Green woodpecker
  • Blackcap
  • Nightingale
  • Great spotted woodpecker
  • Blue tit
  • Meadow pipit
  • Bullfinch
  • Treecreeper
  • Turtle dove
  • Yellowhammer

Birds of Prey

  • Barn owl
  • Buzzard
  • Tawny owl

Learn more about Birds recorded at Heartwood since 2008 by downloading our report

Download our report to learn about our nest box monitoring and maintenance

Mammals identified at Heartwood

There is a large active badger sett adjacent to some of the wood banks and hedgerows, and other mammals recorded on site include;

  • Badger
  • Bank vole
  • Common shrew
  • Fox
  • Harvest mouse
  • Muntjac deer
  • Wood mouse

Learn more about our small mammals survey by downloading our report.

Butterflies identified at Heartwood

  • Brimstone
  • Common blue
  • Essex skipper
  • Green-veined white
  • Orange tip
  • Painted lady
  • Purple hairstreak
  • Red admiral

Download our report to learn more about Heartwood butterfly monitoring