Habitats

Wellesley Woodlands has a range of different habitats where many species have made their homes.

There are many kinds of tree in the woodlands, but most notable are the old English oaks. In a process called oak haloing, we’re removing the younger, faster growing Silver birch and Western hemlock trees from around the older oaks, allowing the oaks to age gracefully without being overwhelmed.
Hundreds of species of insect live in, on, or under each oak tree. Birds nest in their expansive branches and bats roost in the hollow interiors, all feeding off the insects that share their home. Fungi thrive on the dead wood, recycling the oak back into the forest.

In heathland patches you may spot some of the UK’s native reptiles. Look out for the Common lizard, Sand lizard and Slow worm (which looks like a snake but is actually a legless lizard), as well as Adder, Grass snake and Smooth snake. Heathland is also home to a wealth of invertebrates, a primary habitat for a range of scarce birds, and is incredibly diverse in plants.

Meadow areas at Wellesley Woodlands are important habitats, with many different flowers and grasses supporting a wide range of insects, small mammals and birds. In fact, they are among the most diverse habitats in the country, so keep your eyes open for everything from bees and birds to field mice and thistles.

Along the canal look out for dragonflies such as Scare chasers and damselflies such as the Banded demoiselle.

Best of all, because the woodlands change through the seasons, there’s always something new to be discovered. Whatever time of year you visit, be sure to take a careful look in every direction – you never know what you might spot!