Area: 18.6 hectares.
The site has been renamed: it was formerly known as Hollam and Kennicks Wood. The site boundary has been amended by deletion.
Description and Reasons for Notification:
This woodland is a relic of the ancient semi-natural oak woodlands of north-west Devon. It contains a large number of plants typically associated with such ancient woodland sites.
The wood lies predominantly at an altitude of between 30 and 150 m on the north side of a steep-sided valley cut by a stream that flows eastwards into the River Torridge. The geology is Carboniferous Shales and Grits on which a patchwork of clay and sandy soils has formed, resulting in a wide variety of soil drainage conditions.
The most abundant tree is oak: both sessile oak Quercus petraea and pedunculate oak Quercus robur. Some trees have grown from coppice stools, others are maidens.
Hazel Corylus avellana and rowan Sorbus aucuparia are the most abundant shrub species; crab apple Malus sylvestris and guelder-rose Viburnum opulus are less common. There is also a small area of hazel and ash Fraxinus excelsior coppice with standards. Alder alnus glutinosa and sallow Salix spp. grow by the stream which flows along the southern edge of the wood.
The variety of soil conditions present gives rise to a diverse ground flora, with an exceptional number of plants associated with ancient woodland being present. For example, in the wetter areas six sedges, Carex laevigata, C. pallescens, C. pendula, C. remota, C. strigosa and S. sylvatica occur, together with early-purple orchid Orchis mascula, primrose Primula vulgaris and yellow archangel Lamiastrum galeobdolon. On drier ground higher up the valley side, bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus and heather Calluna vulgaris are abundant, with common cow- wheat Melampyrum pratense, goldenrod Solidago virgaurea and tutsan Hypericum androsaemum among the herbs present.