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Clouts Wood - Wildlife

Bath Asparagus © David Kjaer WWT 420

Come and see Bath asparagus

The woodland is dominated by ash but has a wide variety of other trees including wych elm, English elm, field maple, pedunculate oak, cherry, alder and aspen. In the mix are introduced species, including spruce, pine, common lime and sycamore.

Because of the wood’s great age, 29 ancient woodland indicator species grow among its wildflowers.

In spring and summer wildflowers colour the woodland floor and include bluebell and dog’s mercury, wood anemone, pignut, ramsons, woodruff, yellow archangel, primrose, Goldilocks buttercup and violets.

From late June see if you can find the tall yellowish spikes of the nationally scarce Bath asparagus, also known as the spiked star of Bethlehem.

Other plants of note are green hellebore and wood vetch (rare in Wiltshire), the uncommon herb-Paris and the delicate mauve meadow saffron.

Strongly scented water mint grows in the marshy area along with lesser water-parsnip, great willowherb and branched bur-reed.

In autumn, the wood is home to many fungi. You can find shaggy parasol mushrooms the size of dinner plates, stump puffballs that look like creamy alien eggs, and some that flourish later into the winter such as the velvet shank toadstool.

Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the green and great spotted woodpecker, treecreeper and the chiffchaff. When singing this bird sounds as though it is repeating its name. Blackcap and goldfinch like the coppiced areas; other birds include jay, long-tailed tit, and goldcrest.

Keep your eyes open for roe deer – you will have to tread quietly though.

Watch our video of Clouts Wood and Markham Banks in the winter

See more of our videos by visiting our Youtube channel

Clouts Wood Home

Download a location map

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How to get here

OS Map grid reference - SU136800 (King's Farm Wood - main entrance)

Nearest town – Wroughton

Access - In autumn and winter wear wellingtons or walking boots, as the steep terrain is often muddy. Not suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs. Dogs on leads are welcome

Size – Total complex 62.19 hectares / 153.67 acres; Clouts Wood 13.62 hectares / 33.65 acres

Status – designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest; located within North Wessex Downs AONB

Habitats – woodland

Don't miss - Bath asparagus, green hellebore, wood vetch, herb-Paris

Other reserves nearbyMarkham Banks, Kings Farm Wood, Hagbourne Copse, Rushey Platt

 

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