The Fox Corner Community Wildlife Area is home to a diverse and multicoloured mosaic of flowers and birds and an immense number of insects. Click here for the results of the 2006 hay-meadow plant survey. Here are just a few examples of the creatures and plants that dwell in the wildlife area.
Kingfisher... Surprisingly small, this bird is only just bigger than a Sparrow. When it darts over the water, the flash of blue on the back is unmistakable. Kingfishers are not common, but are found near clean water where they dive to find small fish and aquatic insects.
Wren... This tiny bird holds its tail erect and will always stay close to the ground where you can see it scurrying about in thickets. It likes to nest low down in dense undergrowth.
Great Spotted Woodpecker... Despite its handsome looks and bright colours, this is a secretive bird. Listen out for the drumming of the bill against decaying branches. Woodpeckers live in dead trees or older trees with holes in.
Small Tortoiseshell... Butterflies are some of the least destructive and most beautiful of insects. Stinging nettles may be annoying for humans but bright butterflies such as this Small Tortoiseshell depend on them for their food.
Comma... In the course of its brief life a butterfly undergoes dramatic changes in shape and appearance. There are four stages in a butterflies life cycle: from egg to caterpillar or larva, to chrysalis or pupa and finally to butterfly or imago.
Meadow Sweet... Watch out for this tall, sweet-smelling herb in the summer. Try rubbing a few of the flowers between your hands and notice how the smell changes. The scent of the meadowsweet was appreciated by medieval householders who strewed it among the rushes which covered their floors.
Spindle... This flower grows on the colourful spindle tree. The petals are coral-pink and the seeds inside have a bright orange sheath. The smooth and tough nature of the whitish wood of this tree led to its early use for the spindles used for spinning wool, which explains the tree's name.
Grass Vetchling... Grass vetchling, or grass-leaved pea, is a rare plant confined to dry places in south and east England. Up to 3ft high, it grows in long grass where it is completely camouflaged until May when it produces crimson-red flowers which last until July. It has no true leaves but is long, narrow stipules resemble enormous leaves of grass.
Roe Deer... Often seen in the more shady parts of the site, the roe deer is easily overlooked as it slips quietly through the undergrowth, even crawling on its belly. Deer feed on a variety of vegetable material such as grass, leaves, twigs, moss, water plants, berries and fungi.
Woodmouse... These mice aren't often seen unless their habitat is disturbed, then they scamper for cover. They run with a fast, darting motion and often jump when startled. Woodmice usually have a nest chamber in an underground burrow system although they also nest in hedgerows, tree holes and buildings. They mostly eat seeds and insects and are almost totally nocturnal.
Stag Beetle.... The name comes from the jaws of the male that look like stag's antlers. They are the biggest terrestrial beetle in Britain and can be up to 60mm long. Piles of rotting wood that are warm and damp create the best habitat for stag beetles.
The artwork featured on this page is courtesy of Sarah Murphy, Felicity Cole and Hazel Allen.