Wilkswood (Langton West Wood)

A delightful wooded valley to the west of Swanage

 

Site Name Wilkswood (Langton West Wood)
Protection
  • National Trust
Interest
3
County Dorset
More Information
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Wilkswood (Langton West Wood)

Wilkswood (Langton West Wood) -

This wood is known locally as Langton West Wood but as it is signposted Wilkswood and the National Trust sign says Wilkswood that is the name I use. The Ordnance Survey map has no name for the wood.

Whilst Wilkswood is not considered to be ancient woodland it does contains many of the indicator species that one associates with ancient woodland including wood anemone and butchers broom. These are plants that spread very slowly and therefore colonies of them that exist have often been in that location for many, many years. This particular woodland appears on maps that date back before 1800 and the woodland itself is almost certainly much older. A stream runs through the wood which has steep banks on each side which form a wooded valley and that is why it has escaped agricultural improvement, it would be very difficult to farm this area. This also means that the paths are often very muddy and quite steep in places so, sadly, this is a site for the more physically able- bodied only!

The best time for any woodland of this nature is the spring, before the leaf canopy opens. The woodland floor is ablaze with golden lesser celandines, yellow primroses, white wood anemones and green dogs mercury. Birds are then singing as they feed amongst the scrub and early insects, especially hoverflies, abound. There are few better ways to spend a warm spring day than wandering slowly through broad leaf woodland and Wilkswood is certainly one of the best in southern Dorset.  

Wilkswood (Langton West Wood)

50.61553866628, -2.0167839439303
National Trust
3
These are the habitat types that MAY be present on the site based on the species recorded there (top 10 only shown):
Phase 1 Habitat Types Description No of Species
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

13
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

10
A2

Scrub

9
B2

Neutral Grassland

8
B5

Marsh/marshy Grassland

8
F2

Water Margin & Inundation Vegetation

8
H8

Maritime cliff and slope

7
J1

Cultivated/disturbed land

7
B3

Calcareous Grassland

6
F1

Swamp

6
These are the number of species for NVC codes on the site - it DOES NOT mean that the NVC community is actually present on the site: it might be! (Top 10 only shown):
NVC Community Description No of Species
W08

Fraxinus excelsior - Acer campestre - Mercurialis perennis [Ash/Field Maple/Dog's Mercury] woodland

30
W09

Fraxinus excelsior - Sorbus aucuparia - Mercurialis perennis [Ash/Rowan/Dog's Mercury] woodland

29
W10

Quercus robur - Pteridium aquilinum - Rubus fruticosus [Pedunculate Oak/Bracken/Bramble] woodland

21
W07

Alnus - Fraxinus - Lysimachia nemorum [Alder/Ash/Yellow Pimpernel] woodland

13
W21

Crataegus monogyna - Hedera helix [Hawthorn/Ivy] scrub

11
W22

Prunus spinosa - Rubus fruticosus [Blackthorn/Bramble] scrub

10
W12

Fagus sylvatica - Mercurialis perennis [Beech/Dog's mercury] woodland

8
W25

Rubus fruticosus - Pteridium aquilinum [Bramble/Bracken] underscrub

5
MG01

Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland

5
W16

Quercus - Betula - Deschampsia flexuosa [Oak/Birch/Wavy Hair-grass] woodland

4
Site Notables
Displaying 1 - 1 of 1
Site Diary
Project:
Diary Date Sort descending Notes Project Click for records and photos
30-04-13

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The number of species recorded per species group: