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13 July 2014
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Woodlands - Wakerley Wood

Ancient woodland

Mature Oak woodland. Photo - Forestry Commission

Wakerley Wood is an historic, ancient woodland.

The woods has a permanent orienteering course, an all-ability woodland path, and a longer waymarked trail leaving from the car park. The woodland also contains rich and diverse archaeological remains.

Mature Oak tree.
Photo - Forestry Commission.

The oldest features of the forest are two extremely rare Bronze Age cairns.

The waymarked walk follows the medieval boundary of Wakerley Great Park, remnants of the 13th Century deer park.

The wood is gradually being reverted to native broadleaf woodland under the Ancient Woodland Project.

Ancient habitats

Siskin photo courtesy of Forestry CommissionThe forest boasts ancient semi-natural woodland, with larch stands, oak, ash and birch scrub woodland.

There is also a stand of ancient Scot's pine and a hazel coppice understorey beneath the oak trees.

These ancient glades are home to a rich diversity of mammals, reptiles and birds.

There are polecats in Wakerley, together with mammals such as foxes, rabbits and grey squirrels.

If lucky, visitors may also see fallow deer, muntjac deer and badgers.

Crossbill, siskin and redpoll are regular visitors, depending on the time of year.

Buzzards also nest in the woods, together with tawny owls which can be heard hooting at night.

Visitors may also discern the distinctive sound of the grasshopper warbler during the summer months.

Adders dancing taken by Malcolm GallimoreAdders, grass snakes and slowworms inhabit the wood.

Also look out for butterflies including the white admiral, red admiral, small copper, speckled wood and painted lady amongst the grassy glades.

Photo credits

Ancient oak forest courtesy of Forestry CommissionImages of flora, fauna and location courtesy and copyright of The Forestry Commission.

Adders dancing photo taken by Malcolm Gallimore.

 

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