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Hampshire's Countryside

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

  • Raven
    Year round
    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
    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
    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
    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
    Top of mature Beech trees
    Large chestnut, buff and white coloured finch.
  • 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.

  • 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
    Within the woodland
    Sometimes seen on bramble flowers
  • White Letter Hairstreak
    Throughout the reserve, wherever Elm is growing
    Very elusive, you’ll need binoculars - and patience
  • Ringlet
    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
  • 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)
    At the top of Weatham Hill various places
    Pleasant (in moderation) Garlic scented plant with white globe of flowers
  • Vipers Bugloss
    Bright blue flower
  • Cowslip
    Jacks Meadow and other grasslands
    Usually an excellent display at Jacks Meadow
  • Primrose
    Jacks Meadow and other grasslands
    Usually an excellent display at Jacks Meadow
  • False Oxlip
    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.


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