Wildlife Menu

We would like to thank all those who have given support to this project from the local community, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, the Forestry Commission, the Pond Conservation Trust, Alvecote and Shuttington Parish Council, Maurice Arnold, and all the contractors and friends, family and volunteers who have worked on the site and given us advice and support.

We are developing Alvecote Wood according to our Woodland Management Plan that has been agreed with and grant-aided by the Forestry Commission under the English Woodland Grant Scheme.

Are you another woodland owner needing advice? Would you like to read our Tree Safety Policy?

Plants at Alvecote Wood

Acorns at Alvecote Wood

Alvecote Wood is home to a very wide range of plants, including trees, flowering plants, grasses, bryophytes, mosses, lichens and fungi (which aren't plants - but tend to get discussed in the same light).

Trees

The key tree species on site is English (pedunculate) Oak, of which there are probably 150 mature trees, and some 50 or so saplings between 1 and 20 years of age. There are very few oaks between 20 and 100 years of age, and then the remaining mature trees are mostly between 100 and 200 years old. These form the main woodland canopy. There are other canopy trees present including a few native European Larches, Ash, Sallow, Crab Apple and Holly, plus single examples of a few other species, including a Lime, planted near the old wood entrance.

We have planted a small apple orchard on an area cleared to make way for the new building. This includes rare and English heritage apple types.

Scrub Layer

Hazel catkins at Alvecote Wood

The scrub layer is mainly Elder, with some Hawthorn and Holly, and a few Hazel trees towards the southern boundary of the site. We are hoping to encourage Hazel as a plant that can be managed by coppicing. There are also a few dog roses, field roses, gorse and broom bushes.

The woods were heavily overgrown with brambles when we came into ownership and we were advised to reduce this coverage by about two-thirds to permit regeneration of oak and to enhance the biodiversity in general. We are doing this gradually, ensuring that areas of bramble remain as they constitute a valuable habitat in their own right. We are trying to reverse the long-term encroachment of bramble onto other habitats in the wood, particularly freeing oak saplings that have been overwhelmed in recent years.

Hedgerow

Planting a new hedge at Alvecote Wood

The hedgerow along the southern boundary belongs to the adjacent farm, but is a valuable and diverse habitat, featuring field maple (native), as well as hazel, holly, hawthorn, blackthorn and dog rose. This hedgerow species mix continued a short distance along our own roadside boundary, with an abundance of blackthorn and hawthorn and a few hazel. We have recently (early 2009) extended this hedgerow by planting approximately 600 new local provenance trees along the whole roadside boundary, creating hedge where there was none and filling gaps. This new planting includes hazel, hawthorn, blackthorn and field maple (species already on site) with some spindle and dog rose.

Flowering Plants and Grasses

Bee on bugle at Alvecote Wood

There is a large variety of flowering plants and grasses on site, reflecting the varying conditions of shade and light, and the different ground conditions (wet and dry areas both exist). At present there is excessive bramble coverage, and this is being addressed. Particular highlights include snakes-head fritillary, and a patch of bugle.

We are trying to extend the variety of flowering plants and grasses found on the site by development and maintenance of grass paths and rides - these are maintained at a short length in the centre to walk on, with longer grass and plants at the margin. This two-zone mowing policy enhances the biodiversity significantly, and the additional edge that has been created by cutting paths through deeper vegetation further boosts the wildlife value of the site. We have also planted native local provenance woodland grass and wildflower mix on soil extracted from the excavations for our new ponds and access roads.

Daffodils at Alvecote Wood

Many hundreds of daffodils were already at the site, to which we have added native wild daffodil (lent lily), and a few tulips and crocuses to make the entrance and access road more attractive.

Water Plants

The lower pond at Alvecote Wood was home to a variety of species when we came into ownership of the wood, but was also in real danger of drying out. We have taken action to ensure that this pond is preserved and extended. The plants here include relatively rare greater duckweed, broad-leaved pondweed, yellow iris and reedmace.

Species Lists

Plants are included in the wildlife survey carried out by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust in 2008 (pdf)

Maurice Arnold has also provided us with a complete list of species observed on site over many years (pdf)

Below are the plants and trees noted in Maurice's surveys

Trees

Apple
Ash
Aspen
Birch
Elder
Common (English or Pedunculate) oak
Field maple
Hawthorn
Hazel
Holly
Large-leaved lime
Larch
Pussy willow
Sycamore

Flowering Plants

Amphibious Bistort
Annual Meadow Grass
Barren brame
Bird’s foot trefoil
Black medick
Blackthorn
Bluebell
Bracken
Bramble
Broad-leaved dock
Broom
Bulbous buttercup
Bugle
Bush vetch
Cocksfoot
Common bent
Common chickweek
Common duckweed
Common figwort
Common ragwort
Common vetch
Couch
Cow parsley
Cowslip
Creeping bent
Creeping buttercup
Creeping cinquefoil
Creeping jenny
Common sorrel
Creeping soft grass
Creeping thistle
Crested dog’s tail
Curled dock
Cut-leaved cranesbill
Daffodil
Dandelion
Dog rose
Dog violet
Dogwood
False brame
False oat
Field woodrush
Foxglove
Germander speedwell
Gipsywort
Goosegrass
Gorse
Greater stitchwort
Greater plantain
Great hairy willowherb
Ground elder
Ground ivy
Hairy bitter cress
Hairy brame
Hairy tare
Hard rush
Hedge woundwort
Hemp nettle
Hogweed
Hastate orache
Hardheads
Ivy
Talk-by-the-hedge
Lady’s smock
Lesser burdock
Lesser celandine
Lesser stitchwort
Male fern
Marsh birdsfoot trefoil
Meadow buttercup
Meadow grass
Meadow vetchling
Mouse-ear chickweed
Oxeye daisy
Prickly sowthistle
Oval sedge
Red campion
Red clover
Red dead nettle
Red fscue
Reed mace
Ribwort plantain
Rosebay willow herb
Rough meadow grass
Rye
Self heal
Sheep’s sorrel
Shepherd’s purse
Silver birch
Soft brome grass
Soft rush
Small timothy
Snakes head fritillary
Spear plume thistle
Stinging nettle
Sweet grass
Sweet vernal
Spiny sowthistle
Thyme-leaved speedwell
Timothy
Tufted hairgrass
Water starwort
White bryony
White clover
White dead nettle
Wood sage
Woody nightshade
Wild angelica
Wood bitter cress
Yarrow
Yorkshire fog
* Greater duckweed
* Water milfoil

* observed by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust

Bryophytes

Ambysteglium serpens
Atricum undulatum
Brachythecium albicans
Brachythecium rutabulua
Brachythecium velutinum
Aulacommum palustre
Barbula convolute
Callgeron cuspidatum
Cirriphyllum piliferum
Dicranella heteromalla
Disranowesia cirrata
Eurynchium praelongum
Eurynchium pumilum
Eurynchium swartii
Hypnum cupressiforme
Hypnum cupressiforme var
Leskea polycarpa
Mnium hornum
Orthotrichum diaphanum
Plagiothecium denticulatum
Pohlia nutans
Polytrichum sp.
Rhynchostegium confertum
Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus
Tortula subulata var subulata
Lophocolea supidata
Hypogymnia physodes
Xantharia parietina

Lichen

Cladania coniocraea

Fungi

Shaggy parasol
Oak bracket
Coriolus versicolor
Lacipopus sulphurous
Netria cinnabarina
Stereum rugosum