Wildlife

 
Whilst the primary aim of Dane Valley Woods is to plant trees on this community site, we are very keen on other wildlife too, and to record what we see and share it with others. Search through the tabs below to see what can be found.

 

If you go down to the Woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise. 

 

What might you see in Dane Valley Woods? Here is a list of our Featured Creatures. 

 

 

 

Viviparous lizard

A healthy population of these lizards can be found at the Woods. Walk carefully around bramble edges at the top end of the site (closest to the allotments), you may see a tail darting away at the slightest noise!

(Look out for the rare colour variation of light, plain sandy-brown lizards) 

 

 

 

 

Kestrel

Did somebody say lizards? These small birds of prey feast on lizards and small mammals. You can often see them hovering above grassy patches, hunting for food. 

 

 

 

 

Photo from Butterfly Conservation

   

Brown argus

   A small butterfly found on chalk grasslands, difficult to spot having only been found in the Woods a few times. Best spotted in the height of summer. Can you spot one? 
Learn how to identify them in this blog post

 

 

 

 

 

 

The United Kingdom is home to around 574 bird species, 107 mammals and 13 species of reptiles and amphibians. Here is what you can find in our ever-flourishing woodlands.

 

 

Mammals

    •  
  • – Bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus)
  • – Brown rat (Rattus norvegicus)
  • – Common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus)
  • – Common shrew (Sorex aeaneus)
  • – Woodmouse (Apodemus sylvaticus)
  • – Field vole (Microtus agrestis)
  • – Pygmy shrew (Sorex minutus)
  • – Red fox (Vulpes vulpes)
  • – Weasel (Mustela rivalis)

A field vole disturbed when doing habitat maintenance. This little guy was safely released shortly after photographing

 

Birds

 
 

As a part of our 2016/17 project “An Accessible Community Wild Space” (funded by Tesco’s Bags of Help grant scheme), a bird survey was carried out by Tony Swandale on behalf of Kent Wildlife Trust.

Three early morning visits were made in April and May 2017, and the location of all bird species was recorded on a map. A total of 15 species qualified as breeding, including the common linnet and the song thrush.
 

  • – Barn owl (Tyto alba)
  • – Blackbird (Turdus merula)
  • – Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)
  • – Blue tit (Parus caeruleus)
  • – Carrion crow (Corvus corone)
  • – Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
  • – Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)
  • – Collared dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
  • – Common snipe (Gallinago gallinago)
  • – Dunnock (Prunella modularis)
  • – Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
  • – Great tit (Parus major)
  • – Greenfinch (Chloris chloris)
  • – Green woodpecker (Picus viridis)
  • – Grey partridge (Perdix perdix)
  • – Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
  • – House sparrow (Passer domesticus)
  • – Jay (Garrulus glandarius)
  • – Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
  • – Lesser whitethroat (Sylvia curruca)
  • – Linnet (Carduelis cannabina)
  • – Long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus)
  • – Magpie (Pica pica)
  • – Ring-necked parakeet (Psittacula krameri)
  • – Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
  • – Sedge warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
  • – Song thrush (Turdus philomelos)
  • – Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
  • – Swallow (Hirundo ristica)
  • – Tawny owl (Strix aluco)
  • – Whitethroat (Sylvia communis)
  • – Willow warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)
  • – Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus)
  • – Wren (Troglodytes trodlodytes)

You can access the full survey results here. (Click on the link to open the PDF in a new window).

 

Reptiles and amphibians

    •  
  • – Slow worm (Anguis fragilis)
  • – Viviparous lizard (Zootoca vivipara)
  • – Common frog (Rana temporaria)
  • – Smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris)

 

I know, I know, insects are animals too! With over 24,000 species of insect in Britain, many needing expert knowledge to identify, they qualified having their own tab.

 

Although insects are easy to overlook, they form an integral part of the ecosystems, and make up two-thirds of all life on Earth. In 2019, an article was released stating that flying insect numbers have dropped by 75% in 25 years, with scientists warning of an ‘ecology Armageddon’. So show the bugs some love!

 

Here are some of the insects that we have recorded, and spent hours scouring over wildlife guides to name!

 

Butterflies and moths

 

  • – Brown argus (Aricia agestis)
  • – Comma (Polygonia c-album)
  • – Common blue (Polyommatus Icarus)
  • – Essex skipper (Thymelicus lineola)
  • – Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus)
  • – Holly blue (Celastrina argiolus)
  • – Large white (Pieris brassicae)
  • – Marbled white (Melanargia galathea)
  • – Meadow brown (Maniola jurtina)
  • – Painted lady (Vanessa cardui
  • – Peacock (Aglais io)
  • – Small skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris)
  • – Small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)
  • – Speckled wood (Pararge aegeria)

 

5 spot burnet

Not a butterfly, but a day flying moth – five-spot burnet moth

 

  • – Buff-tip (Phalera bucephala)
  • – Cinnabar moth (Tyria jacobaeae)
  • – Five-spot burnet (Zygaena trifolii)
  • – Herald moth (Scoliopteryx libatrix)
  • – Hummingbird hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum)
  • – Knot grass moth (Acronicta rumicis)
  • – Oak eggar moth (Lasiocampa querus)
  • – Ruby tiger (Phragmatobia fuliginosa)
  • – Triangle plume moth (Platyptilia gonodactyla)
  • – White ermine (Spilosoma lubricipeda)

 

Dragonflies and damselflies

  • – Blue-tailed damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
  • – Common darter (Sympetrum striolatum)
  • – Emperor dragonfly (Anax imperotor)
  • – Migrant hawker (Aeshna mixta)
  • – Ruddy darter (Sympetrum sanguineum)

 

Bees, wasps and hoverflies

  • – Buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)
  • – Hoverfly (Scaeva pyrastri)
  • – Marmalade hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus)
  • – Painted nomad bee (Nomada fucata)
  • – Red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius)
  • – White tailed bumblebee (Bombus lucorum)

 

Spiders

  • – Cucumber green orb spider (Araniella cucurbitina)
  • – European garden spider (Araneus diadematus) (BioBlitz record)
  • – Four-spotted orb weaver (Araneus quadratus)
  • – Nursery web spider (Pisaura mirabilis)
  • – Wasp spider (Argiope bruennichi)

 

Crickets and grasshoppers

  • – Field grasshopper (Chorthippus brunneus)
  • – Great green bush cricket (Tettigonia viridissima)
  • – Meadow grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus)
  • – Speckled bush-cricket (Leptophyes punctatissima)

 

Bugs, beetles and ants

  • – Ant species (Formicidae sp) (BioBlitz record)
  • – Beetle species (Haliplus sp.) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Dock bug (Coreus marginatus)
  • – Hairy shieldbug (Dolycoris baccarum)
  • – Harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis)
  • – Leaf hopper (Cicadellidae sp.) (BioBlitz record)
  • – Mallow flea beetle (Podagrica fuscicornis)
  • – Millipede species (Class Diplopoda) (BioBlitz record)
  • – Red soldier beetle (Rhagonycha fulva)
  • – Rove beetle (Oxyporus rufus)
  • – Seven-spot ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata)
  • – Soldier beetle species (Cantharidae sp.) (BioBlitz record)
  • – Thick legged flower beetle (Oedemera nobilis)
  • – Wood ant (Formica rufa) (BioBlitz record)

 

Flies

  • – Soldier fly (Statiomyidae sp.)
  • – Crane fly (Tipulidae sp.)
  • – Green bottle fly (Phaenicia sp.)

 

Slugs, snails and worms

  • – Slug species (Class Gastropoda) (BioBlitz record)
  • – White lipped snail (Capaea hortensis)
  • – Annelid worm (Class Clitellata) (BioBlitz record)

 

Aquatic (in our HQ pond)

  • – Common backswimmer (Notonecta sp.) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Damselfly nymph (Coenagrionidae sp.) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Glassworm (Chaoborus sp.) (BioBlitz record)
  • – Great pond snail (Lymnaea stagnalis) (BioBlitz record)
  • – Great ramshorn snail (Planorbis corneus) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Pygmy backswimmer (Plea minutissima) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Water boatman (Gerridae sp.) (BioBlitz record) 

 

Dane Valley Woods has been planting native trees and shrubs since 2003, and although many of them are still small, they can still be found whilst walking around the site. The site also has some mature self-seeded trees. The map at Dane Valley Woods Trees shows the progress that the group has made so far.

 

Trees and Shrubs

  • – Alder (Alnus glutinosa)
  • – Apple tree (Malus domestica) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Ash (Franxinus excelsior)
  • – Beech (Fagus sylvatica)
  • – Birch (Betula pubescens)
  • – Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)
  • – Box tree (Buxus sempervirens)
  • – Crab apple (Malus sylvestris)
  • – Dog rose (Rosa canina)
  • – Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea)
  • – Elder (Sambucus nigra)
  • – Field maple (Acer campestre)
  • – Guelder rose (Viburnum opulus)
  • – Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
  • – Hazel (Corylus avellana)
  • – Holly (Ilex aquifolium)
  • – Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)
  • – Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)
  • – Oak (Quercus robur)
  • – Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)
  • – Silver birch (Betula pendula)
  • – Spindle (Euonymus europaea)
  • – Sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa)
  • – Sycamore (Acer psuedoplatanus)
  • – Walnut (Juglans regia)
  • – Wayfaring tree (Viburnum lantana)
  • – Whitebeam (Sorbus aria)
  • – Wild cherry (Prunus avium) 
  • – Wild privet (Ligustrum vulgare)
  • – Wild service tree (Sorbus torminalis)
  • – Yew (Taxus baccata)

 

 

Flowers

    •  

 

  • – Alexander (Smyrnium olusatrum)
  • – Bird’s foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)
  • – Black horehound (Ballota nigra)
  • – Black medic (Medicago lupulina
  • – Black mustard (Brassica nigra) (BioBlitz record)
  • – Bramble (Rubus fruticosa)
  • – Bristly ox-tongue (Helminthotheca echioides)
  • – Cleaver (Galium aparine) (BioBlitz record)
  • – Cock’s foot grass (Dactylis glomerata) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Common broomrape (Orobanche minor) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Common knapweed (Centaurea nigra)
  • – Common ragwort (Senecio jacobaea)
  • – Corncockle (Agrostemma githago)
  • – Cowslip (Primula veris)
  • – Cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris)
  • – Creeping cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans)
  • – Creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense)
  • – Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Dark mullein (Verbascum nigrum)
  • – Evergreen bugloss (Pentaglottis sempervirens)
  • – Everlasting pea (Lathyrus grandiflorus)
  • – Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
  • – Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)
  • – Green alkanet (Pentaglottis sempervirens)
  • – Hawkweed (Hieracium sp.)
  • – Hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium)
  • – Ivy (Hedera helix) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Ivy-leafed toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis)
  • – Lilac (Syringa vulgaris) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Marsh thistle (Cirsium palustre) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Meadow buttercup (Ranunculus acris) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
  • – Nipplewort (Lapsana communis)
  • – Old man’s beard (Clematis vitalba)
  • – Ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)
  • – Pignut (Conopodium majus) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Pineapple weed (Matricaria discoidea)
  • – Red campion (Silene diocia)
  • – Red clover (Trifolium pratense)
  • – Red fescue (Festuca rubra) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Rough hawkbit (Leontodon hispidus)
  • – Rye grass (Lolium perenne) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Salsify (Tragopogon porrifolius)
  • – Sedge (Cyperaceae sp.) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)
  • – St John’s-wort (Hypericum perforatum)
  • – Spanish bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica)
  • – Spear thistle (Cirsium vulgare)
  • – Timothy-grass (Phleum pratense) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Tree mallow (Lavatera arborea) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Water mint (Mentha aquatica) (BioBlitz record) 
  • – Wild carrot (Daucus carota)
  • – Wild teasel (Dipsacus fullonum)
  • – Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
  • – Yellow vetch (Vicia lutea)
  • – Yellow oatgrass (Trisetum flavescens) (BioBlitz record) 

BioBlitz (2012)

 

 

On Saturday 29 September 2012, Dane Valley Woods teamed up with Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) in an exciting partnership, to try and identify the extent of biodiversity on the site. The results were analysed by the university’s team with various taxonomic experts (pictured below, with DVW volunteers). Scroll through our wildlife tabs and look for BioBlitz records to see what was recorded. 

 

Windmill Community Gardens (WCG)

Our immediate neighbours at the Windmill Community Gardens have sent us a list of all the birds and butterflies seen at their site, correct as of August 2018 (click on the image for a larger version):-