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Queen's Wood in late July 2006

Queen's Wood is a 21 hectare area of ancient woodland in North London, abutting Highgate Wood and lying between East Finchley, Highgate Village, Muswell Hill and Crouch End. It was originally part of the ancient Forest of Middlesex which covered much of London, Hertfordshire and Essex and was mentioned in the Domesday Book and is now one of three Local Nature Reserves in the London Borough of Haringey. It is situated a few minutes' walk away from Highgate tube station.

Haringey contains no less than five distinct ancient woods. These are Highgate Wood, Queen's Wood, Coldfall Wood, Bluebell Wood and North Wood. All are shown on John Rocque's 1754 Map of Middlesex.

Queen's Wood was known as Churchyard Bottom Wood (possibly because of the discovery of human bones in the west of the Wood which are presumed to have been from the burial pit for victims of the bubonic plague in 1665) until it was purchased from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners by Hornsey Urban District Council in 1898 and renamed Queen's Wood in honour of Queen Victoria.

The wood is an ancient oak-hornbeam woodland, which features English oak and occasional beech which provide a canopy above cherry, field maple, hazel, holly, hornbeam, midland hawthorn, mountain ash and both species of lowland birch. The scarce Wild Service Tree (which is evidence of the Woods's ancient origin) is scattered throughout the wood. The Wood has no park or playing fields (but does sport a children's adventure playground built on top of the plague pit) and has never been subjected to intensive management of the type practised at Highgate Wood and accordingly there is greater diversity of flora and fauna - Bantock (1984) found a significantly greater number of ground feeding birds present in the Wood when compared to Highgate Wood, which he attributed to the greater structural diversity and denser shrub layer present. In November 1990 the Wood was designated a Statutory Local Nature Reserve by Haringey Council.

The ground flora is particularly rich given its proximity to central London (the wood is within a six-mile radius of Charing Cross railway station. It includes a large population of wood anemone, goldilocks buttercup and wood sorrel, yellow pimpernel and square-stemmed St John's wort.

Despite fairly high levels of disturbance, the bird life is diverse and includes all three species of woodpecker. Over one hundred species of spiders have been spotted and a nationally rare jewel beetle is widespread.

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Coordinates: 51°34′55″N 0°08′35″W / 51.582°N 0.143°W / 51.582; -0.143



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