The Copse is in the North West of the site. The area was originally used as an orchard and its more recent use has been as a hazel copse. This part of the Palace site is designated as a Site of Nature Conservation Interest. It has the best population of wild daffodils of any site in the County together with significant numbers of bluebells.
There are no earthworks of archaeological interest in the Copse apart from the three fishponds, a shallow ditch which probably formed the water supply to the fishponds and a bank created by the upcast from the excavation and regular scouring of the moat. According to The History of the King’s Works when two new bowling alleys were built in 1537, one of these was created in the orchard for the king and queen to walk in.
Surrey Wildlife Trust have carried out work in the Copse. As a result the main coppicing work is now complete and a woodchip path through the area has been created enabling visitors to enjoy the daffodils and bluebells in the Spring. The Trust have publicised their work in the Copse on their website, www.surreywildlifetrust.co.uk, and included an item on the Palace site with photographs.
The Red Cardinal beetles eat other insects and even each other! The red colour warns predators to keep away as they taste awful.
One of the fishponds in the copse
Hazel nuts ripening in the copse