Historically, GreenAcres Colney was mixed woodland that was felled in the early 1950’s with the timber being used in furniture production. The wood was subsequently planted with pine. Over time our aim is to revert this woodland back to native broadleaf, such as Oak, Beech, Birch and Hornbeam. The different species will allow an increase in light levels and encourage a greater variety of insects, birds and flora.
TREES, DEADWOOD AND HABITAT PILES
From saplings to rotting deadwood, native trees are essential for the survival of over 2,000 invertebrates, birds, mammals and fungi. GreenAcres Colney does not provide much deadwood, therefore brash (cut branches)and trunks have been left to offer hibernation, cover and nesting sites for mammals, birds, amphibians and insects.
GreenAcres Colney has few wet areas due to the undulating landscape of the site and the free draining sandy soil. There is a deep, chalk-lined pond at the bottom of the site, which is host to a great variety of pond life, such as Dragonfly, Damselfly and Caddisfly larvae, Ramshorn and Common Pond Snail, Newts, Whirligig and Diving Beetle. Native Yellow Flag Iris are present on the perimeter.
Open areas provide feeding patches for butterflies, bats and basking spots for reptiles; therefore managing the wild flora is crucial. Grasses, nettles and bramble grow along with wildflowers and would quickly dominate if left unmanaged.
BIRD, BAT & MAMMAL
Bird, bat and insect boxes have been placed around the woodland. Some bird boxes have cameras inside and have captured nesting blue and great tits. Natural roosting holes continue to provide homes for Great Spotted Woodpecker and Tawny Owl. There are also Wrens, Tree Creepers, Nuthatch and Mistle Thrush. A family of stoats are resident sharing the wood with rabbits and squirrels.