West Blean and Thornden Woods cover about 490 hectares purchased in 2003 and form a vital link between East Blean Wood NNR and other important woodland to the west, including Clowes Wood and the Blean Woods NNR to the south. The Trust works in partnership with other owners and managers of Blean woodland, along with local and national bodies, to establish and maintain a continuous nature conservation complex - a real living landscape.
When the reserve was purchased, nearly 40% was connifer plantation, 35% was planted sweet chestnut coppice and only about 25% was native broadleaved woodland. The Trust is now working to remove the conifers and allow natural regeneration of native species and habitats.
The management of the woodland benefits the nationally rare heath fritillary butterfly and its larval foodplant, common cow-wheat and a range of other species such as bluebell, wood anemone, nightjar, nightingale and dormouse.
There is a Wildart Trail which is an art and sensory, all-access trail in Thornden Wood. Enter the trail between wildlife totem poles, follow the path past log cabin insect homes and see if you can spot the heron in the tree. There's an empty frame by the path, a work in progress. Ants keep guard around their nest. See the woodland workshop, where the woodsmen are just taking a break and look at the dazzling bark of the silver birch trees.