This 17.57 acre conservation area is a very narrow, mile-long strip
along the east shore of Hannum Brook. East of the conservation area are the wooded back lots of numerous abutters in a housing development. The property is entirely forested. The canopy tree species in both communities contain hemlock and a variety of hardwood including red and sugar maples, red oak, yellow and black birches, and others.
The Hemlock-Mixed Hardwood wetland occupies the entire southern half of the property. This half is mostly wetland and has a much greater cover and variety in the ground and shrub layers. There are quite a lot of invasive species. Besides spicebush and winterberry, which are native, the following invasives are present: Japanese barberry (dominant), burning bush, Morrow’s honeysuckle, and multiflora rose. The ground vegetation is denser than in the upland and is typical of moister habitats. The most dominant species are silvery glade fern, cinnamon fern, sensitive fern and spotted touch-me-not. The only invasive in the ground layer is moneywort.
The Mixed Hardwood-Hemlock upland occupies the north section. In this section there are only a few patches of shrub – hobblebush, laurel, and maple-leaf viburnum. The ground layer is sparse because it is very shady. Plants in the ground layer are typical of acidic uplands, but are fairy diverse. They include Christmas fern, lady fern, New York fern, intermediate wood fern, false Solomon’s seal, partridgeberry, shinleaf, cranesbill, and foamflower and a few tulip poplar trees.
Hannum Brook itself is a very winding, slow flowing stream about 1-2 feet deep and 6-15 feet wide. The bottom is silty and it has undercut banks 2-4 feet high.
Some shallow pools including an old oxbow in the wetlands section are probably too ephemeral to be vernal pools, but the muddy areas could be used for foraging by sandpipers and woodcock. The latter species was observed here.
Riparian corridors such as this property protects are often used for travel by a variety of animals. This is one of the chief values of this conservation area. The maintenance of this area in a wild state means animals can safely pass through here to reach another wetland or upland forested patch. On the way they may forage for food. This is a rewarding place to look for animal tracks in the winter. The area along the brook is also a tranquil hiking spot.