Clowes Wood

Introduction

Clowes Wood

A large ancient replanted woodland with many semi-natural features including areas of open heathland. Non-native red oak makes for good autumn colour.

Key habitats:
Coniferous and broadleaved woodland, heathland, scrub, ponds.

Ownership/management:
Forestry Commission

Size:
236 ha

Designations:
Local Wildlife Site

Facilities available at this site

  • Parking
  • Interpretation Panels
  • Take A Map

About the Site

A large ancient replanted woodland retaining many semi-natural habitats – diverse stands with small-leaved lime, heathy areas with western gorse and heather.

The trees that grow in Clowes Wood in a sense tell the story of woodlands in Britain. The small-leaved lime is a very uncommon tree in Kent, and here grows only as a few very old coppice stools and new saplings. However, this tree was once one of the commonest in southern Britain. Before large scale clearances by Neolithic people, most of Britain was shrouded in a primeval forest which we now call the ‘wildwood’. Analysis of fossilised pollen grains has shown that the small-leaved lime was one of a few dominant trees in the wildwood of southern England.

The coppice woodland here represents a much later chapter – that of traditional woodland management that reached its peak in the Middle Ages. The final episode – modern commercial forestry – now dominates the wood in the form of plantations of fast-growing, non-native conifers. Despite this there is still room for a lot of wildlife here, including woodland plants and a wide variety of birds such as crossbill, grasshopper warbler, nightjar and long-eared owl. In wet areas, look out for southern marsh orchid.  Invertebrates include southern wood ant and glow worm. Mammals include dormouse.

 

Visiting

By car

From Tyler Hill village, follow Hackington Road towards Chestfield and Whitstable. The car park is on the left at Gypsy Corner.

By bus

Route number 5 between Canterbury and Chestfield goes past the woodland entrance at Gypsy Corner.

By bike

The Crab and Winkle Way (part of National Cycle Route 1 ) passes through the site.

 

 

 

Transport Links to this site

  • Bike
  • Bus

Clowes Wood Photo Gallery

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