Woodlands and Wood Margins
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Marden’s priceless, thousand-year-old web of wildlife
It’s hard to exaggerate how much the village has been influenced by its ancient woodland heritage. But its early history was entirely based on its being the nearest section of the forest to the monastery of Milton. Herdsmen brought swine to Marden to fatten on the plentiful acorn harvest each autumn. This soon changed to permanent settlements, which became the hamlets and village. As some of the forest was cleared, woods on poorer land were retained, and the woodland was a resource used in parallel to the croplands. Much of this landscape of agricultural land, punctuated by ancient woodlands, is recognisable today.
Often with an understorey of hazel coppice with other species present, such as hornbeam, thorn and birch, this is the typical Low Weald woodland. A number of fragments of ancient wood are in the parish, interconnected via hedgerow networks to the wider landscape. Large numbers of epiphytes – mosses, liverworts and lichens – clothe trunks, and bracket and other fungi exploit woodland. A rare speciality in these woodlands is the chequer (wild service) tree.
Typically with willow, sometimes alder too. A valuable habitat, flooding in winter and drying in summer.
Shaws are linear woods of lines of trees on the edges of fields. Again, these can be ancient – there is a long line of such trees marking part of the Parish border between Marden and Staplehurst. Many large, complex hedgerows can also be viewed as linear woods, and are valuable to wildlife.
The Wealden Forest
At the time of Domesday, Marden’s life and wealth came entirely from the forest with acorn- fattened pigs and timber that was burnt for charcoal and also used for building the scattered homesteads. The earliest of these were the ‘dens’ (Tilden, Bogden, Pattenden). Even today, to walk in and around Marden’s woods is to look on a rare ancient landscape, teeming with many of the species that have lived, contributed to, and been dependent on them for thousands of years. This was the vast forest known to the Romans as Anderida. Much the same can be said of the field networks, dictated by ditches and hedgerows: hundreds of years old, these hedgerows would have witnessed the birth, peak and decline of hop-growing. They remain part of our landscape and home to farmland wildlife that is disappearing at an alarming rate elsewhere.
Marden’s priceless, thousand -year-old web of wildlife
It has been estimated that in excess of 2300 species use British oak trees in some way, with 326 species completely dependent on them, and 229 which are highly reliant on them. So the continuing health of our oak woodlands is something which should concern all of us.
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.
Our unique environment allows a great variety of species
Reptiles & Amphibians & Mammals
You'll be surprise what's we have in the area
Great variety of moths, butterflies, dragonflies and more
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