Ecology of Herbert Plantation
The distribution of the many plants in the wood can be related to its history. There are some 56 plants - out of a possible 101 locally listed - which are usually associated with ancient woodlands, amongst them common Solomon’s-seal, wood sorrel, wild daffodil, primrose, and wood spurge.
A full list of the fauna that can be found on Herbert Plantation is available on the Burghclere web site www.burghclere.net
In 1998 a survey of flora was conducted by botanist Giles Groome, during which he catalogued 257 species, including 6 conifer, 30 broadleaf tree, 8 fern, 23 grass, and 2 orchid types. The western half of the wood has fewer ancient woodland species, although both common spotted and twayblade orchids are found when conditions are right.
Whilst more information remains to be collected about the animals of the wood, there are records of roe and muntjac deer, fox, rabbit and long-eared bat. Both adder and grass snake have been seen. Woodcock, great spotted woodpecker and sparrowhawk are amongst the breeding birds.
Studies of the butterfly population, have found 22 species, include purple emperor, silver washed fritillary and white admiral, along with a large number of day and night-flying moths. On numerous ‘fungus forays’ some 215 - mostly inedible - fungi have been identified, and again a list of these can be found on the village web site, along with an illustrated butterfly list, and two photo galleries of flora and fauna.
Photos: Neill Bruce