Ashford Hangers

Birds, mammals, insects and plants of Ashford Hangers

What to look out for, when and where

This information is not comprehensive and is intended to give guidance only. We suggest you carry an illustrated guide to flora and fauna to help identify the species listed. For more information tel 01962 860948

Species When Where Notes
Raven Year round Overhead Listen out for deep ‘cronking’ call, long - diamond shaped tail
Buzzard Year round Overhead/in trees Usually two or more circling and calling together.
Little Egret Autumn / winter Lutcombe Stream/Pond Pure white Heron like, hunts small fish and invertebrates in the stream, will fly off when disturbed
Red Kite Year round Overhead Infrequent visitor with unmistakable forked tail
Sparrowhawk Year round Overhead hunting through woods On clear sunny days will circle high up with distinctive ‘’flap flap – glide’ flight action on rounded wings
Kestrel Year round Overhead mainly over the grasslands Can hunt from hover but will hunt from a high perch
Tawny Owl Year round In trees Heard more often than seen with classic owl call
Bullfinch Year round Woodland/hedgerow Usually in mixed pairs, white patch on rump apparent as they fly away
Hobby Late summer / autumn Trig point/Jacks Meadow Large flocks of migrating Martins hunt insects over these grasslands which are in turn harried by the hobby
Kingfisher Winter Lutcombe stream/pond Resident all year but more apparent in winter when leaves have fallen
Pied Flycatcher Late summer / autumn Tops of small trees Flits from top of tree to catch insects then returns to original perch.
Spotted Flycatcher Late summer / autumn Tops of small trees Flits from top of tree to catch insects then returns to original perch.
Hawfinch Winter Top of mature Beech trees Large chestnut, buff and white coloured finch.
Species When Where Notes
Deer Year round All of the reserve and surrounding property Muntjack, Fallow and Roe deer have all been recorded at the reserve
Badger Year round Various locations on the reserve Badgers are rarely seen out in the open, look for signs, tracks and sets
Bats Spring Summer and Autumn Over Lutcombe Pond and along track ways Currently 9  species of bat have been recorded at the reserve and monitoring is on-going, if you visit the site before dusk during the summer months many can be seen over head.

In the summer months Butterflies are the most apparent insects on the wing.

Species When Where Notes
Purple Emperor July and August Little Shoulder of Mutton Females mainly around Willows, males rarely spotted on site
Silver Washed Fritillary July and August In glades throughout the wood, along paths Largest of the fritillaries on site
Caterpillars rely on violets as food plant
White Admiral July Within the woodland Sometimes seen on bramble flowers
White Letter Hairstreak June Throughout the reserve, wherever Elm is growing Very elusive, you’ll need binoculars - and patience
Ringlet June Woodland glades and along rides Not uncommon but welcome change from the usual browns.
Marbled White July into August Jacks meadow, Shoulder of Mutton True grassland loving species
Essex and Small Skipper Essex early July, small late June In the grasslands, Shoulder of Mutton, Juniper Very difficult to distinguish between species
Chalkhill Blue June and July Shoulder of Mutton, Juniper, Jacks meadow Grassland loving, iridescent  blue, iconic butterfly of the South Downs
Species When (*Flowering) Where Notes
Narrow- leaved Helleborine Throughout May Little Shoulder of mutton Over 300 plants constitute the second largest population in Britain of this rare Orchid.
White Helleborine Late May through June Various trackside locations throughout the reserve Locally far more common than the above with broader leaves
Greater Butterfly Orchid Late May through June Shoulder of Mutton, Juniper and other open grasslands Beautiful Orchid, mainly in the grassland
Fly Orchid Spring/early summer Woodland edge and coppiced areas Tall but hard to spot in woodland, dark purple with iridescent blue spot
Birds Nest Orchid From April through June In Beech/Yew woods straw coloured, doesn’t Photosynthesise, relies on rotting leaves to survive.
Common Spotted Orchid From mid may through into July Mainly the open grasslands One of Ashford Hangers most common orchids
Herb Paris Throughout May and June Bridleway along Lutcombe stream 4 leaves in a single whorl halfway up the stem
Stinking Hellebore January through to May Halfway up the main hill on The Hangers Way Unpleasant smelling, all parts of this plant are poisonous
Ramsons (wild Garlic) April/June At the top of Weatham Hill various places Pleasant (in moderation) Garlic scented plant with white globe of flowers
Vipers Bugloss April/September Juniper Bright blue flower
Cowslip April/May Jacks Meadow and other grasslands Usually an excellent display at Jacks Meadow
Primrose April/May Jacks Meadow and other grasslands Usually an excellent display at Jacks Meadow
False Oxlip April/May Jacks Meadow and other grasslands A hybrid of the above 2 species which, as the name suggests can be confused with Oxlip.

* All flowering times are approximate and it is worth checking before paying a visit.