One Tree Hill - what lives here?
Imagine lovely views with year round interest. In spring, a carpet of wild garlic and bluebells emerges, whilst in summer the day awakens with the sound of a dawn chorus. Afterwards, the autumnal smell of munched leaves on the ground transforms into clean winter air.
With most of the property lying within the One Tree Hill and Bitchett Common Site of Special Scientific Interest, it is also within the Kent's Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. One Tree Hill consists of a varied mosaic of habitats, with woodland and open glades and the rides (transitions) between these habitat types providing homes for some rare species.
Acicula fusca, more commonly known as the point snail is one of two very rare snails that live at One Tree Hill, the other being Macrogastra rolphii or Rolph’s door snail. The point snail only grows to about 3mm, and they like to hide away from everyone in the wet moss and leaf litter, whilst the Rolph’s Door snail grows up to 14mm.
As well as slugs and snails, One Tree Hill is the only known Kent site for the bristletail Dilta Hibernica. These primitive, wingless insects, like to live on the ground in heavily vegetated spots.
And the cute animal story to end…
The site is home to one of Britain’s most endangered mammals, Muscardinus avellanarius – the Dormouse.
Many of you will have seen images of these elusive, but cute little creatures curled into a ball, but did you know they are agile climbers, who can spend their entire lives up in the branches without ever touching the ground. By fattening up on hazelnuts, buds, berries and insects, they can hibernate for up to three quarters of the year when the weather is bad.