Hut Wood

Hut Wood by Martin Smith

Introduction

Hut Wood is mixed ancient woodland with more recent beech, oak and plantation timber combining Larch and pine, as well as extensive and dense understorey of holly and birch. A one kilometer wayleave along a gas pipeline is rich in grasses, wildflowers, bramble and gorse. An extensive clearfelled area was established in 2016

Birds

A great site for finches and thrushes in winter – Siskins and Crossbills have both bred in the wood. Large numbers of migrant Redwing and Fieldfare, especially on adjacent farmland, and Ring Ouzel is among the 75 bird species recorded. In spring, one of the best sites locally for Firecrests, and there are good populations of Nuthatch and Treecreeper too. Summer visitors include Nightjar, Hobby and Willow Warblers among the more regular residents. Hut Wood is an excellent place to watch Woodcock roding, and there is always a good chance of seeing Tawny Owls and bats. The wood is on the flightpath between Fishlake Meadows and Southampton Water, and can turn up some unusual flyovers. To date, these include single records of Golden Plover, Curlew and Cormorant. Other less common visitors include Pied Flycatcher, Tree Pipit and Red Kite. Twenty species of butterfly have been recorded, including White Admiral and, most recently, Silver-washed Fritillary as the number of flower species increases due to considered wildlife management by the Forestry Commission. Other wildlife includes Common Lizard, Red Fox, Common Frog, Beautiful Demoiselles and variety throughout the year

Access

Hut Wood is a private site and there is currently no public access. There is a footpath along the northern perimeter, connecting with a bridleway that connects Chilworth with Chandlers Ford

Links

Hut Wood Diary, by Martin Smith

Words by Martin Smith