Hoplands Wood

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Hoplands Wood: The shrub layer includes hazel, field maple, sallow, field rose, dogwood, guelder-rose, hawthorn, blackthorn, honeysuckle and occasional spindle. High forest conditions pre-dominate in the eastern half of the wood, while elsewhere there are extensive areas of hazel coppice.

The moisture retentive clays and the closeness of the canopy make Hoplands a damp wood in which ferns and mosses abound. Primrose, sweet woodruff, moschatel and early-purple orchid are common, with bluebells in drier areas, and there are patches of herb-Paris. The rides have bugle, creeping-Jenny, wood and water avens, marsh thistle, lady's mantle, meadowsweet, spotted-orchid and twayblade.

There is a varied bird population at all seasons. Breeding species include woodcock, tawny owl, treecreeper, great and, occasionally, lesser spotted woodpecker and nuthatch, five species of tit and six species of summer warbler. Barn owls occasionally hunt in the rides, and redpolls and siskins visit birches and alders for seed in winter. Badgers frequent the wood from a nearby sett. A pond in the glade attracts spawning frogs, which abound in the wood.

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Hoplands Wood lies on the south side of the Willoughby-Claxby road, about 4 km (2.5 miles) south of Alford and 1 km (0.6 miles) west of the B1196 road.


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