Cinderhill Woods is a Local Wildlife Site covering a total area of 12 hectares and is maintained by the Kent High Weald Partnership both for its important, wildlife-rich habitats and for the enjoyment of the local community. It contains a variety of habitats including heathland, woodland and streams. Brenchley and Matfield
Parish Council lease the woods from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council for the benefit of local residents.
Areas of lowland heathland are of great importance in Kent, due to their rarity in the county, and need careful management to prevent birch and bracken establishing and competing with the heather plants (Calluna vulgaris).
One of the best methods for managing heathland is grazing by sheep and cattle and so the area is fenced to enable the animals to graze in the summer months. This helps to maintain the habitat for reptiles such as common lizards, slow worms and grass snakes as well as birds such as the stonechat.
The stream-side woodland consists of mixed coppiced trees, including birch, ash, alder and hazel. Coppicing encourages a wide variety of ground flora such as bluebells and primroses in the spring months, as well as several orchid species and the scarce lesser skullcap.
The Sweet Chestnut Coppice at Cinderhill is being brought back into management so that the wood can be harvested in a sustainable way for fencing materials, garden furniture and firewood.
More information on the area can be found on the KHWP website, including dates when volunteering task days will be taking place when anyone is most welcome to attend.