Monks Wood

Monks Wood

Monks Wood is one of Britain’s best known lowland woods, home to many species of wild plant and insect fauna.

The ancient woodlands of oak, ash and field maple trees have an understorey of hazel, blackthorn, dogwood and sallow. The rare wild service tree is frequent.

Main habitats: broadleaf woodland, neutral grassland

Over 1,000 different kinds of beetles have been found here, making the wood one of the top sites in Britain for these insects. The ground flora includes many species typical of ancient woodland including bluebell, wood anemone, and yellow archangel.

Among over 400 species of plants are a number of local and national rarities including greater butterfly orchid, violet helleborine, crested cow-wheat, small teasel and water purslane. The first British record of the rare black hairstreak was made in Monks Wood in 1828, and this butterfly can still be found today.

A good range of woodland birds are found including woodcock, tawny owl, and lesser spotted woodpecker. Red Kite and buzzard breed regularly. Mammals such as badger, hare and fox are seen often and Muntjac deer are numerous.

Further information about the reserve’s seasonal highlights and history is on Natural England’s archived pages on this NNR.

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