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Balls Wood Nature Reserve

55.4 hectares of varied woodland, where plantations of conifers contrast with old coppiced hornbeams.

The northern part of the wood is the oldest and varies from old hornbeam coppice, which is now very mature, to mixed woodland of ash and field maple. Aspen has become more abundant in recent years and stands out when its leaves quiver in a breeze.

Throughout the wood there are rides which, being open and sunny, abound with butterflies, including the white admiral, and other insects in the summer. It is important to keep these rides open for wildlife and to open other areas by coppicing.

In spring the woodland rides are full of birdsong and wildflowers, including bluebell, wood anenome, early purple orchid and the rare herb paris.

Highlights: Breeding birds include woodcock and sparrowhawk. There are many ponds in Balls Wood which vary from shallow, muddy pools to deeper more open ponds. These support a range of aquatic organisms, including great crested newts, dragonflies and an unusual species of liverwort.

Location: From Hertford Heath village turn into Roundings Road by the Jolly Pindar pub. There is limited parking along this road although not in the private section. From here walk about 1 km. along the road, keeping to the right where it joins an unsurfaced section of the Roman Ermine Street. The entrance to Balls Wood is on the left where there is a Forest Enterprise sign.

Balls Wood is adjacent to Hertford Heath Nature Reserve.

OS TL 345 105

These maps are intended as a guideline only; you must check the exact location of the reserve yourself. Wildlife Extra assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or usefulness of the information on this website.

 
 

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