Marline Valley

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The reserve comprises mostly ancient gill woodland and areas of lowland meadow, and sits within the Marlline Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The park is divided into three linked areas: Park Wood at the southern end, Marlline Wood in the centre and Four Acre Wood to the north, with all three classified as ancient semi-natural woodland.

The meadows are ex-pasture, with two between Marline and Park Woods, a strip of meadow alongside Marline Wood and two between Marline and Four Acre Wood.

Geologically the reserve stream cuts through layers of Wadhurst clay and Ashdown sands beds, with the sands forming the narrow and steepsided gill. These gills are a characteristic feature of the East Sussex High Weald. There are also numerous springs that occur at the junctions between the clays and sands, forming side streams and wet flushes in the woodland and the pasture, this combination of spring lines and exposed clays make much of the valley side vulnerable to erosion.


Ancient gill woodland, coppice, semi-improved neutral meadow.

Woodland – breeding willow tit, firecrest, nightingale, and hawfinch although these species are now declining at the site. Violet helleborine, broad-leaved helleborine, common twayblade, early purple orchid. Pearl-bordered fritillary, white admiral, purple hairstreak. Marline Wood is most well known for the diverse community of rare liverworts and mosses which grow alongside the gill stream and on sandstone outcrops within the wood.

Meadow – Thousands of common spotted orchids amongst a dense sward of dyers greenweed and yellow rattle. Green hairstreaks, grizzled skippers, wasp spiders and labyrinth spiders.

Dyer's Greenweed, Ecclesbourne Meadow

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