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Wildlife and nature

Veteran oak on West Wickham Common

​Ancient oak pollard

As a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC), West Wickham Common is recognised as an area with a high value for nature conservation.

The woodland may be broadly divided into two distinct kinds, the exposed eastern section which is fairly young  and the western section which is fairly mature and where 15 ancient oak pollards can be found, an important part of our natural and cultural heritage. 

Heathland on West Wickham Common

Heathland habitat restoration

A purple mist of heather flowers attracts bees to a sunny glade on the brow of the hill whilst bright yellow gorse flowers brighten a stroll on a winter’s day. 

Work to restore these areas of heathland started in 2004. Tree and scrub cover was greatly reduced and hand scrapes were trialled, with some success, to encourage dormant heather seeds to germinate. 

In autumn 2007, using funding from London’s Heathland Heritage Partnership, attention turned to a large area of former scrubby woodland adjacent to the existing heather areas, and once the soil had been scraped, heather seeds from a local source were planted. By spring 2009 large numbers of heather seedlings had germinated.​​

Volunteers work hard to remove any scrub encroaching on the heathland and we hope to extend the area of this important habitat over the years.

13 March 2012
Last Modified:
19 July 2019