Broxbourne Woods

 

Broxbourne Woods Complex
Although there are several known sites for iris in Hertfordshire, the most reliable area is Broxbourne Woods.  This large complex of woods (which is part NNR and SSSI) is a few miles south of Hertford and west of Hoddesdon and Cheshunt.

There is a good network of marked trails throughout the complex, although some of the woods in the centre are privately owned.  The Broxbourne Wood supports a modest population, with localised epicentres.  However they do produce frequent sightings, including a good number of males photographed visiting ride surfaces.  Broxbourne Wood NR West car park is a good starting point (TL324070), alternatively if full park in the East car park (TL328064) and walk through taking the path that runs parallel to the road. The best area for grounded males is the main track that leads off from the West car park. Also just by the West car park on the main track is a small oak tree which during a hot summer is often visited by iris seeking a sap run. During the winter of 2009/2010, considerable woodland management work has been undertaken on the ride and it is hoped that in the summer of 2010, habitat conditions will be improved. Peak dates for sightings are usually a bit later than the colonies south of the Thames.

Alternative areas to walk and watch within the complex are Wormley Wood NR. Here the best car park is Bencroft West (TL326064), then walk south through the mature woodland area of Wormley Wood towards the younger sallow rich plantations. Another area worth a visit is the eastern side of the complex so either park at Ermine Street car park (TL347076) for Danemead or Goose Green car park (TL351087) for Ermine Street.

The complex is a good area for White Admiral and an increasing population of Silver-washed Fritillary. 

For up to date information during the flight period visit:

http://www.hertsmiddx-butterflies.org.uk/sightings-new.html