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Status: Local Wildlife Site (CWS/SINC)
Summary: Jermaines Wood is a small, sloping woodland situated between Tylers Common and the M25 motorway. Owned by Essex County Council, but within the Havering boundary, it is fundamentally an ancient, once-coppiced wet woodland, with streams running along two edges.
Description: Nowadays, the deciduous trees, particularly Ash, suffer from dieback and there is a substantial coverage of deadwood. Perhaps this feature caused Essex County Council to restock the central part of the wood in the 1980s, but fallen wood has still persisted. Planted trees include Dogwood (Cornus sp.) and Birch along a central ride that was mown annually, but this practice ceased possibly around 2005, and the ride began to scrub over. As the Essex Rangers now concentrate their efforts on nearby Weald Country Park, work to maintain the central ride is carried out by a local individual. This involves a lot of bramble clearing, coppicing the Dogwood and layering Hawthorn and Blackthorn. In 2013/14 a small coup has been opened, as the SINC/LoWS citation notes ‘small glades’ as being a key feature of this woodland. Flora noted during work have been occasional Male Ferns and a a straggly Hart’s-tongue Fern in 2014. There are patches of Pendulous Sedge, and possibly Green-ribbed Sedge and Wavy Hair grass, both of which can be heavily grazed by the indigenous rabbit population. There is some evidence of Muntjac Deer grazing too, so larger coppice stools are covered with brash. The central ride is not a public footpath, but access to the woodland is open and a designated bridleway runs between the wood and the motorway and then through the top of the wood. The main ride is accessed off the bridleway close to the motorway footbridge. This top section has a small stand of Elm in a remnant glade. After 50 yards, the ride turns left downhill. In 2000, this would have been a wide grassy ride, but much of the grass has been lost. The ancient woodland is most evident at the bottom end of the ride with much celandine in evidence.
Reason for interest: The main ride has a rich diversity of flora, mainly associated with damp woodland, that attracts many invertebrates. It is also important for nesting birds and the high degree of standing deadwood is useful to woodpeckers
Comment: Flora (trees): Ash, Field Maple, Oak, Elm spp., Hornbeam, Sallow spp, Cornus spp, Common Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Wild Cherry (unconfirmed), Sycamore, Hazel, Elder. Some of these species have been planted c1980s. Flora (vascular): Bramble sp. Honeysuckle, Wild Privet, Male Fern, Hart's-tongue Fern (1), Pendulous Sedge, Wood Sedge, Wavy Hair grass (unconfirmed), Cock'sfoot, Marsh Thistle, Teasel, Bluebell, Dogs Mercury, Cuckoo Pint, Hypericum sp. Self-Heal, Moschatel, Tufted Vetch, Ragwort, Common Fleabane, Common Sorrel, Dock, Ground Ivy, Cuckooflower and Garlic Mustard. Celandines, buttercups, occasional violets, Willowherbs & Umbellifers/Burdocks to be confirmed. On the western side is a woodland strip known as Wormwalk Shaw which has other Dryopteris spp. ferns and bracken present in more open areas. Lepidoptera recorded (butterflies): Large Skipper, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Orange-tip, Brimstone, Peacock, Comma, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Silver-washed Fritillary (vagrant), Holly Blue, White-letter Hairstreak, Purple Hairstreak Lepidoptera (micro moths): nemophora degeerella, Alobonia geofrella, Nematopogon swammerdamella, Anthophila fabriciana, Pleuroptya ruralis, Adela reaumurella Lepidoptera (caterpillars): Peach Blossom, Peppered moth, Angle Shades Odonata recorded: Banded Demoiselle, Broad-bodied Chaser Birds recorded: Woodcock, Buzzard, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chiffchaff, Robin, Blackbird, Redwing Hoverflies recorded: Eristalis pertinax Diptera recorded: Dark-edged Beefly (Bombylius major) Mammals: Rabbit, Grey Squirrel. Evidence of coppice stool browsing, possibly by Muntjac deer Reptiles: Adder (1)
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