Saturday, May 30, 2015

Cinderhill Community Woodland...

Cinderhill is only around 20 minutes by car from home and yet, until recently I had not only never visited, but didn't even realise it existed. Maybe that's not quite true because I had driven past the entrance many times but only seen a sign saying RSPB and had assumed it was a 'birding spot' only...

Here's the entrance...

And some shots of the habitat...

This view shows the heathland area to the right...

There's a little picnic area and outdoor classroom, also this fantastic snake carving...

A tiny video of the entrance path leading to the reserve...


There are adders as well as grass snakes and slow-worms to be found, although I was unlucky on the day I visited and couldn't even spot any under these tin sheets...

There were plenty of gorse shieldbugs to be seen, which pleased me somewhat as this is the closest to home I have found any. They were all on the broom you can see in the habitat photos above, rather than on gorse...

Also lots of these little beetles feeding on the broom...

There is also an area of ancient woodland and that's where I found this little hopper nymph...

Not at all sure about this tiny nymph. It was just about 2mm long and the closest I have been able to get is Closterotomus fulvomaculatus, very difficult to be sure at this stage though. Unless you know better?

A Plant bug nymph (Miridae)

I spotted a number of caterpillars but only photographed this mottled umber...

Erannis defoliaria- A Mottled Umber Moth caterpillar

This beetle was an exciting find for me and one that has me wanting to re-visit as soon as I can to look for a male. It is the first Minotaur beetle I have seen locally and it is quite an impressive size. 

A female Minotaur Beetle

I found this jewel beetle that I think may be Agrilus angustulus. It was present in good numbers, I saw at least half a dozen and all on willow. I haven't found any reference to this species being associated with willow though, several other trees, but not willow.

A Jewel Beetle (Buprestidae)

At one particular spot on the reserve there was a lot of this tiny blue flower that I think might be Heath Milkwort...

Heath milkwort (Polygala serpyllifolia)

A few nice finds for a first visit and it's such a lovely place that I just know it will draw me back again soon. There is such a diverse amount of habitat in one place and so I am sure there are more undiscovered delights awaiting my return. I spent around 3 hours in the sunshine exploring the area then packed up my gear and headed for home., promising myself that I'd be back at the first opportunity...

Until the next time...


  1. Wonderful finds and a great place to go, still have not managed to see one Sheildbug this year so far..
    Amanda xx

    1. Thank-you Amanda. It sure is a wonderful spot.How odd that you haven't seen any shieldbugs though. I hope that resolves itself soon and you start finding some...

  2. Looks a great place to visit! Did you spot any interesting birds? Or just concentrating on the bugs? I know it's hard to do both! I really like that snake carving. The caterpillar is very attractive and the jewel beetle. I've not seen that shield bug, yet plenty of wild broom in my garden. Must have a closer look! Great post as always, though sadly I can't view your videos when I'm on my Kindle.

    1. Hi Mandy,
      Erm, no I am not really into birds much, although I do sometimes put the birding lens on and have a look around. This day I just had the macro lens though. I didn't really spot any interesting birds either but I daresay they are there to be discovered.
      Do you have flash player on your Kindle?

    2. I presume not (re flash player) and wouldn't know how to get it on here..... another thing to ask my techie expert aka husband! :-)

  3. Looks a lovely place with lots of varying habitats to explore. Perfect for bugging! :-)
    Don't remember it at all from when I lived down there, but that was a long time ago!
    Love the Gorse SB, of course! All beautiful images again though.

    1. Thanks again Maria...really kind of you to leave all these lovely comments. It isn't an obvious spot that you might drive by, it's on a tiny back-road to Tonbridge but well worth a visit.


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