The wooded area is in the grounds of Duncombe Park estate. This protected parkland is in the River Rye valley and is home to many ancient trees, which provide a home for rare invertebrates and fungi. Birds found here all year round include 3 species of woodpecker, nuthatch and the elusive hawfinch. In summer they are joined by pied flycatcher and redstart. In spring the woodland floor is covered in sheets of bluebells, primroses and wild garlic.
The River Rye flows through the reserve and this is home to many rare insects, trout, otter and birds such as dipper, grey wagtail, kingfisher, grey heron and sand martin.