Plants and wildlife

The woods are home to a wide variety of plants and wildlife. Surveys are conducted through the year and the full list of flora, birds and butterlies spotted in the woods during 2016 is in this document:

2016 Flora and Fauna .docx 2016 Flora and Fauna .docx
Size : 132.355 Kb
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The full results of surveys from earlier years can be found at the bottom of this page.

Walks:
The Friends of Littleheath Woods organise a number of guided walks during the year to help people discover different species in the woods. Details of upcoming walks are published on the Events page.

Timber:
The Friends of Littleheath Woods construct Habitat Piles using sawn and fallen trees to build homes for insects and other wildlife. Please do not disturb the piles of logs or take timber away from the woods for your wood burner.

Seasonal Sightings:

Examples of things you might spot in each season are:


Spring

As the woods warm up with the arrival of spring the plants burst back into life. Carpets of Bluebells and drifts of Wood Anemone mingle with Yellow Archangel, clumps of Primrose, Wood Sorrell and Celandine. Cherry Plum trees and, later, Cherry and Hawthorn put on a superb display of blossom.

The drumming of Woodpeckers – hoping to attract mates – can be heard echoing through the woods. Bird song is everywhere as territories are defended. Spring is the best time for bird watching as they are busy preparing their nests and the leaves are barely out.

Early butterflies, particularly the Brimstone, can be seen taking advantage of the spring sunshine. Mammal activity increases too. Badgers emerge from their winter respite and observant visitors will spot their paw prints and fresh material thrown out of their setts as the badgers do their own spring cleaning.


Summer

In the heat of summer the woods become a cool, dappled haven where Speckled Wood butterflies flutter in the shade among the honeysuckle, Bramble and Ferns.

The canopy of tall Oak, Sweet Chestnut, Ash and Beech provide welcome shade for people and wildlife.

Seats made from trees felled in the woods provide an ideal place to sit quietly and listen for the song of the Chiffchaff or watch a Sparrowhawk circling above the canopy of the trees. If you are lucky you may even spot one of the Foxes or Roe Deer as they cross one of the paths.

Plants will be flowering. Use our 'I Spy' sheet below to spot some favourites.



Autumn

The changing colour of the leaves heralds preparations for winter. Acorns, Beech Mast, Sweet Chestnuts, Crab Apples, Hazelnuts, Hips and Haws all provide a plentiful supply of food for animals and birds to fatten up before the cold sets in.

Guelder Rose bushes create a splash of colour at the edge of Fallen Oak Field with their mass of vivid red berries and on warm days late butterflies can be seen feeding on blackberries

Fungi are abundant in the autumn. The fairytale red toadstool with white spots, the Fly Agaric, can be seen on Fallen Oak Field around the Birch trees. Sulphurtuft fungus can also be seen growing in bright yellow clumps on rotting tree stumps. Puffballs, Earthballs and tiny Bonnet Caps can also be seen by those who look carefully.


Winter


Some would say that the woods are at their most beautiful during winter and every snowfall brings out many photographers to capture the beauty of the bare snow covered trees. Snow also brings out crowds of children to whizz down the slopes of Fallen Oak field on their sledges.

We also have feathered visitors: Redwings and Fieldfares come over from Northern Europe and feast on the berries in the woodland. Amongst the bare trees you will also spot the five British evergreens – Holly, Yew, Scots Pine, Juniper and Box – all of which are present in Littleheath Woods.

Winter also provides an ideal time to spot the tracks, in snow or muddy areas, of those creatures that might be too shy for you to see. Deer, Foxes, Badgers and Squirrels will all leave their trails for you to spot – although the most common track you will spot is the paw print of one of the many local dogs being taken for a walk.

2015 Flora and Fauna.doc 2015 Flora and Fauna.doc
Size : 47 Kb
Type : doc
2014 Flora, Birds and Butterflies.doc 2014 Flora, Birds and Butterflies.doc
Size : 34.5 Kb
Type : doc
2013 Flora, Birds and Butterflies.doc 2013 Flora, Birds and Butterflies.doc
Size : 43 Kb
Type : doc
2012 Flora, Birds and Butterflies.doc 2012 Flora, Birds and Butterflies.doc
Size : 30.5 Kb
Type : doc
2011 Flora, Birds and Butterflies.doc 2011 Flora, Birds and Butterflies.doc
Size : 40 Kb
Type : doc