Wood is on the eastern side of Wiltshire, on the border with Hampshire.
It is a premier site for Purple Emperors, and also has
many other butterflies and dragonflies during the
summer. These include Purple and
White-letter Hairstreaks, White Admiral, Pearl-bordered
and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries, Marsh Fritillary,
Silver-washed Fritillary and Grizzled Skipper.
The dragonflies to be seen include Emperor
Dragonfly, Southern Hawker, Broad-bodied Chaser,Large
Red and Azure Damselfly.
Plant life includes Broad-leaved Helleborine
and a good range of other woodland plants.
Salisbury Plain and Porton Down
have remained largely unchanged since the 18th century, due to their
use as a military training ground. This is the largest remaining
area of unimproved calcareous grassland in northwest Europe, and
measures roughly 25 miles by 10 miles.
The area has had little disturbance
and has not been subjected to intensive farming methods, and is
therefore invaluable for wildlife. The chalk downland is particularly
important for flora and invertebrates. It has 13 species
of nationally rare and scarce plants, such as Juniper,
67 species of rare and scarce invertebrates including
Marsh Fritlillary, and is an important site for birds.
It is difficult thoroughly to
explore such a large and sometimes inaccessible area. However, birds
to be found here include Grasshopper Warbler, Quail,
Stone-curlew, Skylark, Grey Partridge,
Whinchat, Short-eared Owl (in winter), Hobby
and Merlin. Rough-legged Buzzard sometimes occurs