- Events at Cucknells Wood
Tue 1st Apr 14
Work Party : Coppice netting
- Other Woodland reserves
Milford Green & Coxhill Green
Milton Heath & The Nower
Broadstreet & Backside Commons (inc. Rydes Hill Common)
Burners Heath & Swallows Pond
Fir Tree Copse
Graeme Hendrey Wood
Hill Park Estate
Vann Lake including Candy's Copse
St Martha's Hill
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Situated on Weald Clay, close to the Atherfield Clay/Hythe Beds junction, which forms the steep rise in the ground on which Little Cucknells is situated. Here a spring line gives rise to a damp alder wood which is good for mosses. The rest of the wood is mixed with oaks, ash, birch, rowan or mountain ash and hazel. Some holly, wild cherry, hawthorn and crab apples are also present. In the centre of what was the Big Meadow, now reverted to alder copse, is a clump of Norway spruce – a Christmas tree venture that got away!
About 70 species of flowering plants have been recorded. Pignut is present indicating a neutral or slightly acid soil. The more attractive flowers include bluebell, bugle, foxglove, primrose, common spotted orchid and yellow pimpernel; those areas which have to be cleared and replanted are especially rich.
Birds are fairly typical of the woodland habitat and include nuthatch, tits (both marsh and willow) tawny owl, tree creeper and three species of woodpecker.
The area known as Snake’s Alley is a damp open space with a good diversity of insect life.
Management is aimed at promoting a varied age structure of the trees; selective thinning is therefore carried out where necessary. Oaks have been planted and excessive sycamore seedlings removed.
The reserve is particularly noted for its fine display of bluebells in spring and of the vast numbers of silver-washed fritillaries.
Cucknells Wood is located south-east of Shamley Green, and access is via Stroud Lane. Bus no’s 53, 63 and 523 stop 1 mile away.
Grid reference : TQ 041 430
Habitat : Woodland