In 1991 a Survey* by Marion Finch and Christine Braiden identified the Area as ‘Ancient Woodland’; mixed woodland predominantly Hazel and Ash Coppice under Oak standards; there are some areas of pure Ash, with some Beech and Hornbeam. The shrub layer also includes Hawthorn, young Ash, Field Maple, some Privet, and Guelder Rose. In one area there is a mixed plantation of conifers under occasional Oak and Ash standards.
Both Parkwood and Newtimber Wood are included in the NCC’s Ancient Woodland Inventory so must be at least 400 years old. Both are recognised as of historical and ecological importance.
The ground flora is dominated by pendulous sedge with clumps of bramble, ivy, field rose, Honeysuckle, and many tree and shrub seedlings. There is a large area of Bluebells, and in one small area some Common Spotted Orchids. Also seen are wood sedge, marsh thistle, Agrimony, Fleabane, Meadowsweet, Clover, Mint, tufted hair-grass, Daisy, Bird’s-foot Trefoil, Yellow Pimpernel, St John’s Wort, and some species of rushes.
Amongst the 20 species of bird recorded are Wren, Robin, Coaltit, Bluetit, Great Tit, Blackbird, Wood Pigeon. Nuthatch, Tree Creeper, Jay, and Green Woodpecker. The Common Pipistrelle (Bat) is known to be found in the vicinity of Parkwood.
In August 1994 a botanical survey by R & B Clough listed 105 species of trees and plants in Parkwood, plus liverworts, mosses, and lichens.
In recent years, some limited Coppicing has been reintroduced, with some promising results.
For anyone wishing to discover more about the Woodland and Wildlife found in this part of Sussex, the Sussex Wildlife Trust Headquarters and Nature Reserve is at Woods Mill in Small Dole, less than four miles from Parkwood.
Acknowledgement: Parkwood wishes to acknowledge the help of Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre in providing the information for this Page.
*The original report is held by Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre