Dering Wood


Dering Wood

Dering Wood is an ancient woodland known for its butterflies and plant-life but also for its reputation for being haunted.

Key habitats:
Ancient semi-natural woodland

Woodland Trust

125 ha

Local Wildlife Site

Facilities available at this site

  • Parking
  • Waymarked Trail
  • Interpretation Panels

About the Site

The wood is home to more than 25 species of butterfly (including white admiral, purple hairstreak and silver-washed fritillary) and rare beetles and is renowned for its stunning display of spring bluebells and wood anemones. Tree species include wild service and alder buckthorn; interesting flora include lousewort, violet helleborine and yellow bird’s nest. Woodland birds, dormice and other mammals also live here.

Mostly ancient woodland, the site features in records stretching back 1,000 years. Archaeological evidence can be spotted in the shape of drainage ditches, ponds, saw pits and even the site of a plane crash. The woodland has a reputation for being haunted and is known locally as ‘Screaming Wood’.

Oak and hornbeam coppice covers much of Dering, a distinctive feature of the southeast. While there are areas of high forest and dense scrubby woodland, mature coppice dominates.

Typical of Weald woodlands, underfoot can get very wet and muddy in winter but is well served with access tracks.


By car

From the A20: in Charing, turn onto Pluckley Road. Follow this road for about 3.5 miles into Pluckley village. As you come out of the village, at the bottom of the hill, turn right onto Smarden Bell Road. Follow this road for another 1.5 miles, into the woods. You will see the car park on the left.

By train

Nearest railway station, Pluckley (approx. 2 miles)

By bus

Route number 123 passes through Pluckley village.



Transport Links to this site

  • Train
  • Bus

Dering Wood Photo Gallery

Click images to view larger