Classified as ancient semi-natural woodlands, many of Whiteley woodlands have been historically worked. Turkey oak appears in some parts, perhaps indicating the land was once managed for commercial timber and under-storey wood production. Many ancient woodland plant indicators can be seen throughout the woodlands. Quavey's Copse to the north is more ancient having been consistently wooded since the earliest records available. Despite being recorded as wooded since at least the mid-19th century, the southern edge is marked as pasture in the Titchfield Tithe Apportionments of 1838.
All three species of woodpecker are resident along with other woodland specialists such as nuthatch and treecreeper. Spring sees the arrival of chiff-chaff, willow warbler and the occasional wood warbler. You may also be lucky enough to hear the beautiful song of the nightingale in May. The woodlands are a vital refuge for larger mammals such as badger, fox and roe deer. Insect life is rich with very good numbers of solitary bee and wasp species. The striking silver-washed fritillary and beautifully contrasted white admiral butterflies are two examples of species which have benefitted from recent woodland management.
Most of the woodlands are open to the public.
A series of 15 self guided walks around the Borough includes an interesting walk at Whiteley that takes approximately 40-45 minutes.
The long term strategy for the majority of our woodland sites is to maintain and enhance their biological and educational resource. This includes managing historical landscapes through rotational coppicing, retaining high forest while encouraging a varied vegetation structure. Most of the woodlands are in Forestry Commission assisted grant agreements which outline site objectives and appropriate action to achieve them.
Leave the M27 at junction 9 and take the second exit to Whiteley village and shops. Turn left into Rookery Avenue at the roundabout at the bottom of the hill, go straight across the Solent Hotel roundabout. Take the first right into Yew Tree Drive, then the second left signposted for the community centre. You will see the car park straight ahead. You can reach most of the woodlands on foot from here.
For more information about Whiteley Woodlands or any other countryside site please contact our countryside service on 01329 824843 or firstname.lastname@example.org.