West Wood is at the heart of the Kent Downs. This is an area relatively unscathed by development, and is a refuge for a wide range of birds and animals. Foxes, bats, grass snakes, adders and deer live in the area, and there are a dozen confirmed badger setts within the wood. It is well known among bird watchers as a habitat for nightjars, firecrests and various species of owls.

Plantlife is varied, with a rich mixture of habitats, from heath to mature woodland. There are many areas of young conifer, with heather, bracken and brambles, silver birch and sweet chestnut. There are also many stands of young oak and sweet chestnut, and areas of mature beech and pine wood.

In the autumn, the woods are home to various kinds of mushrooms, including puffballs, stinkhorns, ceps (and several other boletus), russula and lots more, including a vast luminous slime mould. 

Heathland and young trees provide an excellent environment for insects, including butterflies, spiders, impressive swarms of dragonflies, huge scary hornets and some amazing beetles.

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