Jubilee and Chessington Wood

Chessington Wood

The final stretch of the Bonesgate stream passes through Chessington Wood. This is probably the most interesting wood in the borough. Characteristic plants include Butcher's Broom, upright parsley and marsh woundwort. There is also an important area of grassland on the northern boundary. White admirals and brown long-eared bats have been recorded this year.

  Across the Leatherhead road from Chessington Wood or to the north-east of Jubilee Wood is located a new mushroom shaped pond. This may have been excavated as a balancing pond to take road run-off from the Explorer car-park at the zoo (and the road).


Jubilee Wood

Jubilee Wood: wet woodland
For at least a couple of years perhaps longer, Jubilee Wood has been flooded by water emanating from a cracked pipe based on the adjacent National Grid site. This has killed some of the trees, unused to  waterlogged roots. Representations have been made to the council on several occasions, by several  members of the public.

Typha and phragmites Jubilee Wood
This constant inundation has  changed the flora of the site so that it is now dominated by marsh marigold, typha and phragmites reed rather than bluebells and common spotted orchid. A survey carried out during by J. Dobson (2006) did not note many of the wetland species now present.

The meadow ponds have been important for dragonflies and birds in the past. In former years the reedbeds have been used by reed bunting as a night roost. Almost 50 were counted arriving in the early evening a few years ago, which made it the largest roost site for this species in Surrey (per Surrey Bird Report). Alas this is no longer the case and a survey undertaken this year in February produced no sign of reed buntings.  

Instead noise and light pollution from a nearby circus was noted, as well as an increase in the tenacity of the mowing regime, which has decreased the area under conservation management. This area is important for white-letter hairstreak butterfly recorded on several occasions. Although the eggs of this butterfly are recorded along the Hogsmill river, this is the only site in the borough where the adult is seen annually. The brakes need to be applied to the rapid decline in some of the features at this borough outpost.


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