A local community woodland, mainly planted between 2002 and 2008. Other than a few historic trees and the boundary hedge, the woodland is a mix of oak. ash, wild cherry, beech, Scots pine, hazel and other native woody shrubs. Open ground has been incorporated to allow plant communities to establish. This site is maintained for its conservation value and as an amenity for local people in the Haylands area.
What to look and listen for …
Most of the trees within this site were planted within the last 20 years. There was a variety of natives species used. Look out for young Hazel and Hawthorn, and there are also some old coppice trees. These were coppiced some time ago and now have numerous stems reaching for the sky. In times past these would have been cut about every 5 years to provide poles etc. Trees grow quickly on the Island as we do not have deer. Squirrels love the Hazel and as the trees are young and small the squirrels can be easily spotted. But you do need to stop and stand still.
Also look out for butterflies. Speckled Woods love this site, and you will see them dancing in the glades, but you will find a variety of butterflies bathing on the woodland paths on a sunny day.
You may find your squirrel through listening for it. They can be heard rustling in the branches and tap-tapping will probably be a woodpecker. The woodland is close enough to the sea for gulls to be heard, and of course there are always pigeons cooing, in winter listen to the leaves underfoot.
… and smell and touch
Smell the sweet smell of blackberries in late summer and please help yourself to them. Sniff out Stinking Iris – also known as Roast Beef Plant.
You may wonder what the man-made black surfaces are in the meadow area. Touch them and they should be warmer than the surrounding soil and grass. We were going to remove them and then we found it was Toad Central underneath. Feel the different temperatures as you walk through the site. The young trees have a dappled effect on the paths and woodland floor. In autumn there are lots of seed heads to gather. Teasels are sharp and used to be used to ‘tease’ or brush wool. Now goldfinches ‘tease’ the seeds from them. And for something prehistoric, search out Mare’s Tail, this is an invasive plant and is coarse to touch.
Discover the three wooden posts that make up a sensory trail around the park. Each carving gives you a clue as to what you might find on the site.
Nature at home and activities on site
We have produced a super Colouring Sheet for you to download and complete at home. We have also produced an I Spy Sheet and Map for you to print at home, or download to your phone and take to the site. And become a Bug Bunch Ranger. All these activities and resources can be found here.
Managing the site
There has been no coppicing or thinning to date as the woodland has been establishing. We manage our woodland rides for butterflies and other insects. This means that we create sheltered but sunny scallops within the grass paths within the woodland.
How to get there
The site is accessed along a short path off of Mitchells Road.
On foot/By bike – The site canebe accessed from Upton Road, beside the allotments, just south of the junction with Mitchells Road. There is a cycle rack in the meadow area of the site, near the entrance.
By bus – Windmill Close Stop (Route 37). (Bus Timetables)
By Car – There is no car park near this site and on street parking nearby is limited. Approximate code for your sat nav is PO33 3JG.
There is a Information Pillar at the entrance to the site. The site information pillar has a QR code that links to an audible description detailed below. The information pillar also has a QR code that links to a map and activities. There is also a site map on the Information Pillar. The is a picnic table within the meadow area which can also accommodate wheelchair users.
Paths through the site are unsurfaced and can be muddy particularly during the winter months. There are no internal gates or stiles.
There are no nearby public toilets. The nearest toilets are in the town of Ryde.
We have produced an audible description creating a mind’s eye view of the area to allow a visually impaired person to enter with confidence. It will describe the entrance, the size of the area, where to find further information or help and any major obstacles or features. Information has been produced by visually impaired people ensuring it is useful and accurate. Access the description by scanning the QR code to the left of this text on your phone or tablet, or by clicking here.
There are various ways you can help improve and maintain our sites. We rely on volunteers to help with many tasks on our sites and also need people who are happy to regular visit the site be our “eyes and ears”, this means we can respond much quicker to issues. Our shop raises money to support our work and needs a team of volunteers. Or maybe you would like to help us with events. Find out more here.
You can also help by becoming one of our regular supporters. Even giving a few pounds each month can make a real difference, with your donation being invested into site management and improvement work to benefit site visitors and look after our precious wildlife. Sign up here.