Perry Wood is designated as a Local Wildlife Site and is important for all sorts of plants and animals, from woodland wildflowers and a vast array of tiny insects, to fungi, native mammals and many fine trees.There are some impressive ‘veteran’ trees in the wood and even a rare hybrid sorbus – a cross between Rowan and Whitebeam.

Fly agaric toadstool

Dormouse, a protected species

The Local Wildlife Site details give an overview of the wildlife value of the site.

Download the site details document here

The most key thing for wildlife diversity in Perry Woods is the diversity of habitats that are present in a relatively small area.  The mixed nature of the woodland  – that is, the diversity of tree species, soils, aspect and hydrology mean that there are also plentiful ‘niches’ or homes for different plants, insects, birds, mammals and reptiles.

Veteran beech tree

Chiff chaff

Some areas of the woodland, particularly under the rhododendron, bracken and pines are currently quite species poor, and future management will focus on improving these areas for wildlife.  That said, reptiles enjoy basking on the sunny banks where the sun gets through.

Common Lizard

Meanwhile, surprising areas can offer much greater diversity.  For example, some of the banks around the lanes are designated as a Roadside Nature Reserve.


Birds nest orchid                 Wood sorrell

Insects are very well recorded at Perry Wood.  Click here to see just how many moths had been recorded at the site by 2005!  There are also some interesting leaf-hoppers in the wood and green tiger beetles, who are best known for liking sandy, heathy areas.

It is because of the remnant heathland wildlife at the site that one major aim is to increase the area of Lowland Heath or ‘Wooded Heath’  – a rare habitat in Kent.  Some heather remains on Windmill Hill, whilst in other areas it has been superseded by thick stands of bracken.


Heather growing on Windmill Hill

Small patches of heathland restoration will also maintain some of the open views from the hilltops.

Other areas of Perry Wood are more typical of ancient woodland in the Kent Downs, including areas of Sweet Chestnut coppice and semi-natural broadleaved woodland.  There are some fantastic patches of wild daffodils and blue-bells in some areas.

Perry Wood has its fair share of cute fluffy wildlife too:

  • Dormice have recently been discovered here (a European Protected Species)
  • There are several badger setts in the woods
  • Deer scats (faeces) have been found, although numbers are uncertain
  • There are many different types of breeding birds, and some exciting visitors such as the cross-bill who come to feed on pine cones.  The nightjar may also be a visitor – well camouflaged in bracken – and most easily recognised by their eerie tune at dusk!

Let us know what you see and hear! Use the wildlife siting form opposite.


Submit a Wildlife Record

Please let us know the details of any wildlife you have spotted in Perry Woods

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