The coppice and hillside woodlands at Queenswood are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and the whole site is designated as a Local Nature Reserve. They provide a variety of important habitats for a whole range of wildlife.
The native tree species of note within the ancient woodland surrounding the Arboretum include oak, wild service and small leaved lime. The small leaved limes found in the south woods are growing from very old coppice stools and are an unusual feature of the woodland.
Since much of the woodland is natural regeneration since the First World War, the countryside team are working to ensure these woodlands are managed to develop woodland of mixed age, which will provide a better habitat for wildlife.
More than 190 plant species have been recorded at Queenswood, which is high for a Herefordshire woodland. These include scarce species such as wood vetch and herb paris, which are indicators of semi natural ancient woodland.
Eight different species of orchid have been recorded at Queenswood including birds nest, butterfly, early purple and common spotted – these and spring wildflowers such as the wood anemones and bluebells in the arboretum and woodlands make up a colourful display.
Many species of fungi have been recorded in the woodlands including the distinctive magpie fungus and fly agaric.
Did you know?
There are over 150 nest boxes for birds and dormice at Queenswood which we regularly check and record data from.
Nationally rare dormice are found in the North and South Woods and Queenswood takes part in a national monitoring scheme to help protect these endangered creatures. Other interesting mammals include, polecat and yellow-necked mice, whilst fallow and muntjac deer inhabit the woodlands.
Woodland birds include great spotted, lesser spotted and green woodpeckers, willow, garden and wood warblers, chiffchaffs and blackcaps.
Butterflies found at Queenswood include the silverwashed fritillary and purple hairstreak which both thrive in the oak woodlands. Other insects include deadwood loving beetles such as the nationally scarce oak splendour beetle.
Queenswood is involved in various conservation projects including the:
- Herefordshire woodpeckers project
- National dormouse monitoring scheme
- Millennium bird survey