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This beautiful ancient 45 hectare woodland was given to the City Council in 1932 by the then Lord Mayor of Canterbury, Alderman Frank Hooker in order that it should be reserved to the Public forever. Larkey Valley Wood is now a Nationally Important SSSI and is looked after in partnership with Kent Wildlife Trust. In 2007 this woodland became accredited with FSC (Forest Stewardship Council certification) status showing that the woodland is managed to sustainable and best practice standards.
From October to March each year, anyone can volunteer to take part in the coppicing activity that takes place through much of the woodland. This is a traditional system by which trees are cut close to the ground so that new shoots can grow from the base. This allows increased light into parts of the woodland so that a wide range of plants, insects, birds and mammals can thrive.
Larkey Valley Wood has spectacular displays of wildflowers from March to May,including many species of orchid. Regular monitoring of the wood has shown that this is one of the best in the country for dormice. In 2008, the Kentish Stour Countryside Project installed new waymarkers at the woodland, providing three new signed walkways for visitors. New information boards have also been installed in the car park and at the pedestrian entrance off Cockering Road.
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Larkey Valley Wood is located less than 4km from the centre of Canterbury on the Cockering Road.
From the A28 Ashford Road/Thanington Road join Stranger's Lane opposite St Nicholas' Church. At the end of Stranger's Lane turn right along the Cockering Road for 0.7miles (1.14km) until you reach the woodland car park situated on the left of the road.