The Princethorpe Woodlands Living Landscape contains, at it's core, "the most important cluster of ancient woodlands in Warwickshire" (The Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull). The area includes 20 woodlands covering 618 hectares and represents more than 10% of the whole of Warwickshire’s ancient woodland.
Connecting these woods is a network of hedgerows, a vital semi-natural habitat in their own right. The ecological 'veins' of the landscape, these features play an important role in the movement of species across the area. Bees, vital to the health of our countryside and contributing an estimated £430million to the UK economy each year, depend on them (read more). The Princethorpe Woodlands area is also home to many species of birds, bats and butterflies.
The area contains 233 km of hedgerows, providing a vital corridor between habitats often through agricultural land.
Some hedgerows are remnants of earlier woodland, retained to enclose new fields, some are medieval parish boundaries and others are planted enclosure hedgerows from 17th – 19th centuries.
Hedgerows are important aspect of local history as well as a valuable habitat for many plants, small mammals, and a variety of birds including song thrush. Adjacent banks, ditches, field margins, verges also provide valuable habitat for wildlife including butterflies and other invertebrates including the nationally notable leaf beetle Cryptocephalus frontalis.
Present in the landscape for millenia, our ancient semi-natural woodlands, such as Wappenbury Wood and Ryton Wood, are an important habitat for many birds (e.g. Lesser-spotted woodpecker, Willow warbler), bats (e.g. Common pipistrelle and Noctule bats) fungi and flowers (e.g. bluebells, wood anemone and primrose)
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