One of the best places to visit for a look at the splendid autumnal colours in September and October, as most of the trees within the wood are of Beech.
Queen Elizabeth Country Park
We are currently getting sightings reported in the park for three of the biggest and most remarkable of our native butterflies.
The Purple Emperor, with its iridescent sheen and wing-span of 70-80mm is the most dramatic, closely followed by the White Admiral and then the Silver-washed Fritillary, which are both a little smaller but no less impressive. All can be found in the forest canopy, coming down to ground level to drink from puddles or feed. Look out for them along the paths and clearings, and if you have any luck please report back to reception. The most recent sightings have been along the western edge of the forest adjacent to Bottom Field, and near the Holt Pond. The Purple Emperor in the image was found taking a look at one of our BBQ sites..so keep an eye out wherever you are in the Park.
Dormice are a very rare species and are found in Hazel plantations, there may well be a colony or two hidden in the park
In the skies overhead there may well be good numbers of Red Kite and Buzzards on the thermals. In the surrounding countryside the Barn Owl may well be seen at evening or at night hunting for voles
Queen Elizabeth Country Park is a large country park situated on the South Downs in southern England. It is located on the A3 road three miles south of Petersfield, Hampshire and lies within the South Downs National Park.
The park contains 1,400 acres (6 km2) of open access woodland and downland within the East Hampshire Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including Butser Hill (886 ft), the highest point on the South Downs, and War Down (801 ft). The woodland was mostly planted in the 1930s; it consists mainly of beech trees. Several Long-distance footpaths run through the park including Staunton Way, Hangers Way and the South Downs Way bridleway. On a clear day the Isle of Wight can be seen from the top of Butser Hill.
The park also contains several well regarded, waymarked and graded mountain biking trails. These are designed, built and maintained by the dedicated volunteers of the QECP Trail Build Collective.
The Queen Elizabeth Country Park parkrun takes place within the park each Saturday.
To the east of the forest, south of the village of Buriton lies the wooded hill of Head Down (205 m), which "is an area that caters for clubs that require land with privacy for outdoor recreational activities, such as archery or off-road vehicles."
Every July the Queen Elizabeth Country Park is the start point for Oxfam's biggest annual fundraising event, Trailwalker UK.
The Queen Elizabeth Country Park and the Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda are twinned in a project of "cultural exchange, mutual support and has its main emphasis on supporting Conservation through working closely with and empowering local communities".
Toadstools are always popular to see growing out of dead trees and in moist ground. It is best to see them when they have been growing for about a week before other foragers' start to attack them for food.
Slow worms can be quite common along the chalky rides in the wood.
Adders like this majestic female are not uncommon basking in the early morning warmth of a spring day, here they will shelter amongst the leaf litter, so be very careful where you walk , especially if you have dogs!
Queen Elizabeth Country Park sits on a chalk escarpment which lends itself to woodland and chalk downland habitat. In the rides common spotted orchids can be found and in the meadows other orchids can be found like Early Purple Orchid, Helleborines,and Bee Orchids.
Queen Elizabeth Country Park taken from across the road of the A3 motorway, looking best in all its autumn colours
In the grassy rides and meadows dotted around the site are good places to look for invertebrates, here a pair of Essex Skippers are going to mate on Yorkshire Fog.