Moth records in Dream Wood, Hothfield
The Northern entrance to the wood is through an avenue of magnificent oak trees. The soil is mostly clay. Trees are mostly hornbeam with oak standards. Some birch. An area of heath in the centre is mostly covered with bracken with some birch trees. The Northern half of the wood is quite different from Southern half. For example, there are masses of bluebells in the Northern part and orchids and anemones in the Southern part. There are very few orchids in the Northern half and very few bluebells in the Southern part. There is a very wide diversity of insects, especially moths. These can be seen even on cold Winter nights. There is an ancient ditch drainage system, which is believed to have been put into place by monks. The Northern half is much better drained than the Southern half. This is partly because the stream that becomes the River Beult runs through the Southern part and partly because the wood is sometimes deliberately allowed to flood by the water authorities seeking to prevent flooding in urban Ashford. The wood appears to have been coppiced over the last several centuries but was then neglected as a result of a sudden decline in the demand for oak for wooden warships and hornbeam for gunpowder charcoal. Lumps of iron smelting slag have been found on the banks of the stream. There is an open area in the Northern section, near the pond, where nothing grows except brambles. It has been suggested that this was the site of charcoal burning over a long period. There are two ponds made by the present owner. The ecology of the two ponds is completely different. The one near the charcoal burning area in the North is full of a variety of different dragonflies and various amphibians. The pond further South contains lots of damsel flies but very few dragonflies. Ditch digging by volunteers has recently improved the water feed to this pond so this could change. Interesting fungi are found throughout the wood, evolved to colour match their surroundings according to their locations.
Moth records in Dream Wood, Hothfield, Dr Thomas and Mrs Rizwana Shelley (2018)
Dr Thomas and Mrs Rizwana Shelley
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Metadata last updated on 2018-08-05 13:58:45.0