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Marden’s priceless, thousand-year-old web of wildlife – and before.

It’s hard to exaggerate how much the village has been influenced by its ancient woodland heritage. Its early history was entirely based on this section of the forest of Anderida being owned by the monastery of Milton. Herdsmen brought swine to Marden to fatten on the plentiful acorn harvest each autumn. This migration soon changed to permanent settlements: dens [herdsmen’s clearings] became hamlets and later the village.  As some of the forest was cleared, woods on poorer land were retained. Woodland was a renewable resource exploited in parallel to the croplands. As crops were grown, the need to drain the land was imperative.  Hedgerows were the divisions of an irregular patchwork of fields dictated by ancient drainage ditches. Much of these field shapes, punctuated by ancient woodlands and water, are recognisable today.

Marden’s wider setting is complex, and explains its rich biodiversity. The Low Weald, a horseshoe-shaped structure, curls round the High Weald, forming a large part of Kent and Sussex. To the east of us, the Low Weald is broad, its major feature is the river Beult (possibly a celtic name, associated with cow pasture).  Closer to Marden, the Low Weald is narrower, and the Beult floodplain, running along the north of the parish, more extensive. 

In addition, the Teise runs along the western boundary of the parish, although 250 000 years ago it ran through the centre of the village.  These floodplains, including the ancient Teise one, have left alluvial deposits which make more tractable agricultural soils than our hostile Low Weald clay.

As the Low Weald is so narrow here, Marden is close to both the Greensand Ridge, and the High Weald, which influences the landscape and soil in the south of the parish.  To consider all these complex landscape effects is to appreciate why we have this level of richness in our flora and fauna.

Fauna and Flora

We have generically grouped all our Fauna and Flora and know that these groupings aren't always perfectly correct, but this has been done to make it simple to get an idea of the variety of species we have in our parish. We do not expect this website to be used as an encyclopaedia. 

Birds

Our unique environment allows a great variety of species

Reptiles & Amphibians & Mammals

You'll be surprise what's we have in the area

Invertebrates

Great variety of moths, butterflies, dragonflies and more

Fungi

Without these Trees and Plants would not survive

Orchids & Flowers

Such a diverse amount of flowers in different environments

Trees and what comes with them

Trees create homes for many different elements of wildlife

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