Brookheys Covert (SSSI & Ancient Woodland)


Brookheys covert is an ancient semi-natural woodland dominated by oaks, with frequent  ash, birch and rowan. Canopy cover varies throughout the reserve, and is at its most dense to the centre of the wood, away from the surrounding farmland. The understory is dense in places and is dominated by hazel, with frequent holly elder. Areas of bare ground and leaf litter are found throughout, and are associated with the most shaded parts of the wood. There are several inter-connected marl pit ponds present throughout the woodland. Some hold water while others remain as damp depressions, only holding water seasonally. Aquatic vegetation is limited to a small number of ponds, and includes common duckweed, iris and water violet. Most ponds are heavily shaded and are subject to fluctuating water levels, however, recent ditch and woodland management has helped improve their wildlife value.

The marl pits have a rich invertebrate fauna and the covert is well used by birds, some of which nest. Grey heron, kingfisher, kestrel, little owl, treecreeper, blackcap, spotted flycatcher, sparrowhawk, jay, and both great spotted and green woodpeckers are amongst the 57 species recorded

Habitats: Wetland, Woodland

The site is located to the west of Brookheyes Road