Discover wildlife in the woods

In the woods

Photo, Andrew Mason

Trees only cover around 11.8% of Devon – slightly less than the national average

But don’t play down the beauty of our county’s woodlands

Halsdon path in the Autumn

Halsdon. Photo, Kevin New

  • Most of Devon’s woodland is dominated by oak trees, but birch, rowan, hazel and holly all jostle for space too
  • Our Halsdon, Andrew’s Wood, Dart Valley, Warleigh Point, Uppacott Wood and Dunsford nature reserves all provide wonderful woodland walks
Bluebells at Lady's Wood

Lady's Wood. Photo, Dave Pugsley

Waves of blue

Devon’s woodlands in spring are a joy. Walking through wild garlic and waves of bluebells becomes a heady, captivating experience.

Badgers build often build their setts in woodland. These massive earthworks and their well-worn paths through undergrowth can be centuries old. Look too for roe deer and fallow deer as they move through the trees.

Woodpeckers, nuthatches and tree creepers will all use holes in trees as nest sites. Bats, including brown long-eared and pipistrelle bats, will also use these holes and crevices. 

As summer warms the woodland its worth looking along path edges for butterflies including speckled woods, silver-washed fritillaries and perhaps, if you are lucky, the beautiful, slow-flying wood white.

Our woods and trees are home to a huge variety of wildlife! Hedgerows, copses, woods and clearings make up vital habitat links, connecting wildlife across different landscapes.
Rosie Govier
Fly agaric fungi at Bovey Heathfield

Fly agaric at Bovey Heathfield 

Autumn fruiting

Autumn brings out the fruiting bodies of woodland fungi. Dead wood and the woodland floor are the places to look. Once you get your eyes trained for their weird shapes and wonderful colours, a fungi hunt is great fun!

This season sees a race against time for another woodland resident, the hazel dormouse. It must build up its fat reserves on a woodland autumn diet of nuts and berries before the first frosts signal it is time to hibernate.

As winter takes over a late afternoon walk will bring you in contact with the sounds of the wood. The crunch of your feet on frost coated leaves will mix with the territorial screeches of tawny owls and the courting calls of foxes.

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