Wonderful warden at Wheatley Wood – Denny Warner
Starting in August 2020, Denny signed up as a woodland warden just at a time when we looked for more volunteer support across our estate. Having volunteers who could act as our ‘eyes and ears’ on site is a huge help during ‘normal’ years, however, this help has been even more vital in recent times. Denny is a warden at Wheatley Wood, which is located just next to Rayleigh in Essex. It is a popular, urban site enjoyed by the local community. Day to day Denny keeps an eye on things for us, reporting any issues, carrying out regular litter picks and cleaning our interpretation signage.
We really enjoy hearing any reports of wildlife from our woodland wardens too, so were thrilled to hear that Denny had spotted a range of species, including jays, robins, wrens, brimstone and peacock butterflies and lately buzzards, kestrels and green woodpeckers.
Site manager Jonathan Jukes and Assistant site manager Jess Vagg spoke in appreciation for Denny’s hard work. “Denny has a been an amazing support at Wheatley Wood over the last few months to us in the Estate Team! She has dedicated many hours of her free time to help with litter, other anti-social behaviour and most importantly being our eyes and ears out on the site. Thank you so much Denny!”
Wheatley Wood is located between the town of Rayleigh and a busy railway line. It is a real oasis and a site loved and well used by the local community. It is a mixture of semi-natural woodland, grassy areas and scrub, and this means that the site lends itself well to supporting various species of reptiles, amphibians, small mammals and insects. The site attracts a large number of butterfly species, including grassland species such as ringlet, meadow brown, small heath and marbled white. In the woodlands there are silver-washed fritillaries, brimstone and speckled-wood.
Thank you for signing up as a volunteer Denny and for supporting us at Wheatley Wood! Your hard work with the litter picks and your reports to us on the site are really important to our management of the wood and we are very grateful.
Amanda Brookes (VDO- Central England)
Site images: Denny Warner
Wren: Erik Karits, Pexels
Ringlet: Uwe Nake, Pexels