Wildflowers and Insects at Hatfield Forest
At last count there were an estimated 300 million flowers at our special place. Learn about the habitats they help create and the insects they encourage.
Beetles, fungi, mistletoe, buttercups...
The Forest is a "triple S I" (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and a National Nature Reserve. The coppices and woodland pasture are now extremely rare, providing a refuge for much rare and specialised wildlife, including beetles and fungi, wildflowers and other insects. Hatfield Forest is renowned for its mistletoe. In late May, there are fantastic displays of buttercups. At last count there were an estimated 300 million flowers.
Wildflowers and where to find them
Hound’s-tongue – edges of the wood pasture all over the Forest
Brooklime – in the wet areas by the stream and marsh
Fleabane – in the wet areas by the stream and marsh
Burnet Saxifrage - Portingbury Hills
Restharrow – Takeley Hill
Dwarf Thistle - Takeley Hill
Corn Mint – Collins Coppice
Cowslip – Bush End
Cuckoo Flower – Old Womans Weaver
Fairy Flax – Takeley Hill and Portingbury Hills
Harebell - Gravelpit
Hemp Agrimony – Lake marsh
Wall Wood, to the south-west of the main Forest, is well worth a visit in Spring, to see bluebells, hedge woundwort, twayblade, common spotted orchid, and if you're lucky, some of the rare oxlips.
We have been carrying out butterfly surveys since 2005. Our volunteers learn to identify the different species. They familiarise themselves with the survey routes and walk these every week (weather-permitting), recording what they see.
How many wildlife species are there?
Over 4000 species of wildlife have been recorded at Hatfield Forest and 60% of these are insect species. The Forest is also home to over 650 fungus species and 320 types of wildflowers.
Visit the National Biodiversity Network website where we have placed all of our species records for the Forest, such as the plants, fungi, insects, mammals and birds.