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Self-Guided Heathland Walk
- On your left is Wyndham's Pool. It probably originated as a fish pond and in the early 12th century was used as a bathing pool.
- This area is known as Brandy Bottom. Its name is said to derive from the fact that smuggled brandy was once hidden here on its way to London.
- This Pond often dries up during the summer. Such ponds are important for a range of wildlife with this pond being particularluy valuable for a number of scarce dragonflies and damselflies, including the Black Darter and Downy Emerald.
- This area of open heathland is dominated by heather with other vegetation types such as gorse, grass and small trees. This variety of habitats enables a wide diversity of wildlife to survive. Although it is important to prevent heathland from reverting to woodland, we try to maintain areas of scattered trees to act as lookout posts for birds
- This woodland is known as the 'Old Ely'. It is the original site of the Ely Pub. The old woodlands contain a number of oaks and are home to a variety of fungi, best seen during the autumn.
- This is a great place to look out over the heathland. The area to your left is covered in much younger, less dense heather. It is important to have a variety of ages as a lot of wildlife is specialised to heather of a certain age. Young heather such as this provides a breeding site for Silver Studded Blue butterflies, whilst Woodlarks like to nest on the bare ground.
- This area of gorse dominated scrub is an ideal place to see the Dartford Warbler, which nests close to the ground. 8. This woodland is what heathland would naturally become if left unmanaged. Although we clear some woodland to preserve the heathland, we keep other areas in order to increase habitat diversity. Woodlands have their own associated wildlife, the diversity of which increases with age.