The wayleaves has much flora and fauna mainly grasses which contains all the summer Skippers Essex, Small and Large, and many types of Grasshoppers and Beetles. Butterflies also seen are Meadow Brown Ringlet and Marbled Whites, by the hundred!
Roesel's Bush Cricket
Underside of a male Purple Emperor
Marbled White on Thistle
Mating pair Silver-Washed Fritillaries
183.46 ha (453.33 acres)
A wood of mostly conifer with some areas of old broadleaves. Different age structures of trees provide different habitats for wildlife, including patches of heather. Wide grassy rides provide a network of walks for those people who know these woods. With no waymarked walks provided, new users are advised to take care not to get lost. A car park is provided on Bunkers Hill.
This is one of the best woods in Hampshire for invertebrates especially Butterflies, with a good colony of Silver Washed Fritillary and White Admiral, also the elusive Purple Emperor can be seen along the wayleaves in July and females can be seen egg-laying on the good quantity of willows which grow underneath the Electricity pylons. However after a very mild spring the ground tends to get very boggy and some rides become almost impassible as the wood is situated on Guant clay soils which soak up the rainwater.
A good number of birds can be seen in the wood with Great Spotted Woodpecker, and Green Wood Pecker, also Buzzards and Red Kites have been known to nest in the tall conifers. Cuckoo's can be also heard singing in the open fields which surround the woodland, in the spring. Tawny, and Long Eared Owls also live in the woodland, and Little Owls frequent the smaller copses around the field margins, along with Barn Owls which can be seen at dusk and dawn.
Roe Deer and Muntjac deer can be heard barking as you walk through the woods, and the Grey Squirrel is quite common.
There are any Blackthorn thickets in and around the woods and recently the Brown Hairstreak has been found all be it in egg form only, I believe the adult has yet to be seen, so it would be well worth looking out for this beautiful butterfly in the Autumn during the months of August and September.
Good amounts of Sallow in the rides and wayleaves are foodplant for the Purple Emperor