The woodland here at Gulleywood is part of North Copse. Batt’s Brook runs through it and also marks our boundary. Old coppiced hazel covers about four acres and this requires on going work to maintain a good habitat for dormice and other mammals and birds. Within the woodland 3 ponds have been created, which only add to the wide and diverse range of habitats on offer. In spring the mature woodland is carpeted with a beautiful display of native blue bells, which is slowly creeping into the 8 acres of newly planted woodland. Trinity wood planted in 2000 and Gulleywood (from which we take our name) planted in 2004, were both planted under the Woodland Grant Scheme. They were a mix of Oak, Ash, Cherry, Alder, Norway Mable, Mountain Ash and Walnut nearly 3000 tree’s were planted altogether.
After a survey in 2007, the woodland has been declared a designated dormouse site. There was evidence of dormice being present from the nibbled hazelnuts discovered all over the mature woodland. 50 nesting box’s have been in place since 2008, located round the woodland perimeter of the farm.
On the last month’s survey we found a breeding pair of dormice weighing in at 17 grams each plus a single mouse in a separate box. The dormice are placed in polythene bags to weigh them, which seems strange but it really is the safest way. We are assured that the low take up is due to the fantastic habitat we have here, as there is plenty of evidence.
For more on dormice please, visit www.dormice.org