Of owls and dormice

Of owls and dormice

Dave and I bought our lovely wood in Kent in 2019 because we wanted to surround ourselves in nature and have somewhere our children could visit to decompress from their busy lives.  In due course, we hope our as-yet-unborn grandchildren can come and explore amongst the trees to root them firmly in the natural world. One day, we wish them to become the custodians of this beautiful space.

But it was more than that for us. Dismayed by on-going news of threatened wild spaces, we wanted to play our small part to protect, cherish and encourage the biodiversity that calls our wood its home.

Understanding how the wood ticks throughout the year was a steep learning curve for us and one that we shall still be climbing for many years to come. We have dug several small ponds, put up bird feeders and a large number of bird boxes, as well as clearing some glades and coppicing the hazel through the winter. Trail cameras have been sprinkled liberally around, all the better to find out what the wildlife is up to when we are away.

We have found that there is a thriving population of Hazel Dormice in our wood and there are several badger holes and fox dens.

A Hazel Dormouse that has made a nest in a bird box

Green Woodpecker nest in the same hole in a cherry tree every year and this spring we have the thrill of a pair of Tawny Owls setting up home in one of our owl boxes.

A Tawny Owl hunting for worms on the woodland floor

White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary butterflies glide majestically through the woodland glades in August and Woodcock and Redwing fly in from distant lands to spend their winters here with us.

We feel that the wood has given us so much - the joy of a deeper understanding of the woodland habitat, a space to clear our heads, bountiful aerobic exercise, and, in a small way, the opportunity to give a little bit back to the world.



Thank you so much for sharing your woodland adventure so far. I’m just at the beginning of mine with a bit of land, a beck and an area of hazel that I had started coppicing (restarting next winter). I’ve seen an otter’s bottom lol, a red squirrel that glided through the woodland like a woodland sprite, and a flash of a stoat, as well as numerous birds.

The grounding peace of the woodland next to the gurgling beck is something other worldly and I keep pinching my self and giggling that I’m immersed into real life.

Wishing you much happiness, peace and wellness.


16 April, 2022

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