Much of the woodland on the Hadlow Estate – including some 850 acres at Pembury Walks – is in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Some of this woodland is Ancient Woodland, and is a survivor of the old Forest of Andreaswald, which covered much of the Weald Forest Ridge.
This woodland is managed in conjunction with the RSPB as Tudeley Woods Nature Reserve, thanks to a management agreement established over 30 years ago by James Teacher, a keen conservationist.
It is a haven for wildlife including nightjar, lesser spotted woodpecker, warblers and many migrant, wintering birds. Plant and insect life is rich, and over 1,100 species of fungi, including rare varieties have been found here.
Sensitive management, including chestnut coppicing and a return to active forestry operations, underpins our approach to wildlife conservation and the maintenance and enhancement of these habitats. We regularly monitor the bird population, flora and fauna in the woodland and across the estate as a whole to gauge what conservation methods are working, and to ascertain how we can support wildlife diversity and create new habitats in future.
Tudeley Woods Nature Reserve is crisscrossed with a number of ancient drovers sunken paths, footpaths and rides, as well as three well-marked RSPB nature trails which give access for people to enjoy this beautiful environment.
Bluebell walks, organised by local path rangers are a popular Spring activity, as are our farm walks. These walks give an insight into how we run our farm and contribute to food production and the local economy.
We are careful to balance the sensitivities of such a rich natural ecosystem with access to green space and fresh air, so we do request that walkers respect footpath signs across the Estate, particularly in the nesting season.