Our 55-acre woodland nature reserve provides a fantastic habitat for all sorts of wild animals including foxes, badgers, rabbits, squirrels, owls, dormice, frogs, lizards and snakes.
The reserve is looked after by our woodland worker and his marvellous team of volunteers. Most of their work is aimed at maintaining the habitats of these fantastic wild animals and improving public access.
Conservation work can include clearing invasive rhododendron, planting and nurturing native species of plants to encourage new species of wildlife, clearing paths to give better access or providing nesting boxes and feeding tables for our diverse selection of birds.
Plants and trees
In spring the woodland is awash with wood anemones and bluebells. Later this gives way to a beautiful display of spotted orchids and, in clearings, a generous amount of ferns and rosebay willowherb grow.
Oak, birch, ash, beech, sweet chestnut, giant redwoods, hornbeam and Japanese cedars are a few of the 45 species of tree to be found in the woods. Some of them are over 330 years old and the largest has a girth of 4.74 metres!
Over 433 different animal species have been recorded living in or visiting the wood. It would be impossible to list them all here, so we have picked some of the most interesting highlights.
Rare great crested newt and elusive water vole have been spotted in the front drive pond. 92 magical glow worms joined the other 291 varieties of insect that inhabit our woods in 1981. Amazingly a total of 204 types of moth have been recorded here, including large goat moths.
Spectacular white admiral butterflies have also been seen here, and then of course there are the regular and entertaining visits of the local badgers.
Notable bird sightings have included colourful hoopoe, small black redstart, territorial great grey shrike, impressive rough legged buzzard, merlin - the UK' smallest bird of prey, nocturnal nightjar and secretive golden oriole.
Come and explore the woods during one of our annual events.
Research in the woods
Mallydams is taking part in the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme (NDMP), a survey that includes 170 sites in England and Wales. Over 50 dormouse boxes are checked every month, between April and October.
The first recorded sighting of dormice using tit nesting boxes was recorded in 1971. A detailed survey, conducted during the early 90s, helped identify areas where the wood could be managed to attract more of these small nocturnal animals. Since then, over 800 dormice have been recorded, including 200 young dormice in all stages of growth.
The steady increase of the rare dormouse population here has led to Mallydams becoming one of the most populated woods for dormice in south-east England.
Find out more about our current research projects.