Larkey Valley Wood Local Nature Reserve
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Larkey Valley Woods was given to the city council in 1932 by the then Lord Mayor of Canterbury, Alderman Frank Hooker, on the understanding that it would always be kept available to the public. It is now a nationally important Site of Special Scientific Interest and is looked after in partnership with Kent Wildlife Trust. In 2007 this woodland became accredited by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) This certification status is granted to woodland that is managed to sustainable and best practice standards. The varied soils throughout the wood provide conditions suitable for a diverse mixture of trees and ground flora with spectacular displays of wildflowers present from March to May, including many species of orchid. Regular monitoring of the wood has shown that this is one of the best in the country for dormice. From October to March each year, coppicing take place through much of the woodland. This is a traditional system by which trees are cut close to the ground so that new shoots can grow from the base. This allows increased light into the parts of the woodland so that a wide range of plants, insects, birds and mammals can thrive. In 2008, the Kentish Stour Countryside Project installed new way markers in the woodland, providing three new signed walkways for visitors. New information boards have also been installed in the car park and at the pedestrian entrance off Cockering Road.
Easy access information
This park and open space contains uneven trails, un-surfaced or narrow pathways. Also, there are width restricting features, such as stiles and narrow gaps making it difficult for visitors with pushchairs and/or wheelchairs to access some parts of the site.