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Penson's Lane Local Wildlife Site

Penson's Lane Local Wildlife Site


Size: 2.2 ha (1.5 km long)

Designation: Local Wildlife Site Ep171

Grid Reference: TL 52790 03437 to 53607 03639 {phocamaps view=link|id=35|text=Map}

Owner: Private

Access: The lane has a public bridleway running down its length and forms part of the Greenstead Country Walk. There are footpaths that run from the lane.

Site Description: Penson's Lane is situated 1.5km southwest of Chipping Ongar.

The lane is an important wildlife corridor connecting several small woodland areas and ponds to each other.

Most of the lane is a grassy path with a hedgerow either side. The hedgerow is reasonably species rich with five woody species per 30m stretch. This dates the hedge at approximately 500 years old using Hooper’s rule. The lane contains a few veteran oak and ash trees and other species of note including midland hawthorn, spindle and wild service trees.

There are several ponds along Penson's Lane which provide a mosaic of habitats for local wildlife.  The woody area around the ponds consists of maiden oaks and coppice hornbeam.

Management: The structure and diversity of the lane is good for insects and bats and therefore should be maintained whilst encouraging more light into the area to encourage floral diversity. The hedgerow connectivity needs to be improved and maintained. This can be done by planting native species into the areas of the hedge where it is necessary. Pond quality also needs to be improved and maintained by removing scrub and copping trees around the pond and cutting overhanging branches to let in more light.

Work of this kind was undertaken in winter 2010. Countrycare staff and volunteers have opened up the canopy in the woody area by the ponds and cleared scrub from around the ponds.


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