Woodland

In addition to the existing woodlands which consist predominantly of Common Birch Betula pendula and Alder Alnus glutinosa with occasional Oak Quercus robur, the new planted woodlands will be created and managed primarily for the Red Squirrel but will also provide habitat for a great many other species.

Trees within the established woodlands are probably in the region of fifty years old as their composition and structure suggests each wood was cut prior to the Second World War when what is now Watchtree was once an airfield.
Each of the woodlands has its own unique character and atmosphere: Pow Wood is darker with carpets of mosses and ferns with frequent Holly and Bramble patches. Roe Deer can occasionally be seen, especially during mornings.
Pond Wood is generally lighter due to the many rides and glades surrounding footpaths and the pond. Red Squirrel, Fox and Stoat have all been seen in addition to Redpoll, Tits, Spotted Flycatchers and Great Spotted Woodpeckers. The pond is particularly rich in wildlife, particularly during the warmer months when dragonflies and damselflies are on the wing.


The newly planted woodlands have been planted with a range of both broad leaved and conifer species thus creating ideal Red Squirrel habitat. Since being planted in 2002 and 2003, the new woodland has already developed into a valuable habitat with berry producing trees and nectar rich flowers providing food for birds all year round.
The new woodland will consist of open areas, glades and east to west facing rides so maximising available sunlight. Tree species composition takes into account those conditions favoured by not only red squirrels but other woodland birds; dense areas of Sitka Spruce for example will create retreat.

Broadleaved species are also planted to interface with the coniferous – thus creating a diverse range of mixed woodland habitats. In addition some areas are planted to create fringed, scalloped woodland edges to each woodland compartment.