Nettlebed and District Commons

Wildlife and Woodlands

Wildlife on the commons

A variety of different habitats are present on the commons, each supporting different species. Each habitat, where it can be found and some of the species that they support are listed below:

Secondary woodland

Where – Nettlebed Common, Peppard Common, Kingwood Common

What – Young woodland that has grown up from scrub and formerly open land is known as secondary woodland. It is characterised by young, thin trees with birch often the dominant species. Trees tend to grow closer together than in ancient woodland.


Trees – Birch, Aspen

Plants – Bramble, Holly


Where – Nettlebed Common, Peppard Common, Kingwood Common

What – Heathland occurs on poor quality, acidic soils. Heathland can be classified as dry or wet heath; the majority of heathland on the commons is dry although some wet heath does exist on Nettlebed Common.


Plants – Bell heather, Ling heather, Cross-leaved Heath, Gorse, Tormentil,

   and Heath bedstraw.

Reptiles – Common lizard, Slow worms and Grass snakes


Where – Nettlebed Common, Kingwood Common, Highmoor Common

What – Old clay pits and quarries on Nettlebed Common have now become a vast network of woodland ponds. Some of the ponds are not filled with water throughout the year providing a different habitat to those, e.g. Sea Pond, which are wet throughout the year.


Amphibians – Great-crested newt, Common toad, Common frog, Smooth newt and Palmate newt

Plants – Sphagnum moss, rushes and Lesser spearwort

Invertebrates – Emperor dragonfly, damselflies

Ling heather

Ancient beech woodland

Where – Nettlebed Common, Lower Common Wood, Oxlands Bottom, Witheridge Hill Common and Highmoor Common Wood.

What – The description ‘ancient woodland’ refers to woodland that is at least 400 years old. The ages of trees and the presence of certain species of plant (known as ancient woodland indicator species) can be used to estimate the ages of woodlands.


Trees - Beech, Oak, Cherry and Hornbeam

Plants – Bluebells, Wood anemone, Sanicle and Wood sorrel

  Ancient Beech

 Bell heather

  Sea Pond - Nettlebed

       Jack’s Pond or Sandpit Pond - Nettlebed