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The woods cover 25 hectares (61 acres) and contain a wide variety of habitats. The land covered by the woods is quite varied with soils that are predominantly chalk, clay, sand or pebbles. The terrain also changes from the highest point in Gee Wood at 161m above sea level down to the lowest point in Fallen Oak Field at 125m. The wide range of terrain, soils and habitats means that the woods are home to a wide variety of plants and animals. Find out more from the website Friends of Littleheath Woods

History

The first documentary evidence of the woods and fields which make up Littleheath Woods dates back to 1493 and the present names for some of the woods can be seen on a map of Croydon from 1803. The site of Littleheath Woods was originally a mixture of farmland and small wooded areas. The original four woods – Littleheath, Foxearth, Queenhill Shaw, and Gee Wood – became joined up when Gruttendens field ceased being farmed and the trees gradually took over. Clears Croft was once used for growing potatoes and Fallen Oak Field was traditionally used for grazing, with the Cattle Pond nearby. Most of current Selsdon began being built in the 1920s and the original plans included streets and houses over much of the current Littleheath Woods site. However the Selsdon Residents Association enlisted the help of a local conservationist, Malcolm Sharpe, to look into saving the woods. Over £6,000 was raised through a mixture of public subscription and council assistance to purchase the land and in 1932 Littleheath Woods was officially declared a public open space. The website shows a photo of Selsdon and Littleheath Woods in 1931. The water tower on the eastern edge of the woods was built during the 1950s and the more observant visitors will also spot the recent addition of a ‘plastic pine’ mobile phone mast nearby.

Location

The woods are located in Selsdon bounded by Littleheath Road, Foxearth Road, Croham Valley Road and Edgecoombe. From TQ 34679 63172 in the north to TQ 34968 62643 in the south and TQ 35321 63094 in the east.

Public Transport

There are thirteen entrances to the woods that allow easy access. Buses 64 and T33 stop near several of the entrances.

Habitat

There are areas of mature woodland, areas with young trees planted by the Friends of Littleheath Woods and areas of coppiced woodland at different stages of regrowth. There are also ponds and two meadows. These areas are all connected by a network of paths that meander through the woods.

Species

Lists of flora and fauna recorded over the past few years are available from the website Friends of Littleheath Woods.