Perhaps the most interesting thing about Auchenharvie Wood is its exceptional edge habitat: it boasts about a kilometre of southeast facing woodland edge and scrub. This sunny and flowery woodland edge habitat provides thermophillic insects with the energy they need to go about their business.
The wood comprises mainly Sycamore. However, there are several Elms at the east end and a good number of young Oak trees are growing at the west of the wood. Willow and Alder are abundant in places, giving the biodiversity in the wood a boost. In the center of the woodland, by the school, there is a relatively well-developed shrub layer of Hawthorn, Elder and Hazel.
Towards the Saltcoats end of the site, the wood becomes scrubbier and there are several areas of interesting grassland. Where the rock of prehistoric sea cliffs reach near to the surface, the soil becomes very shallow, inhibiting grass growth and thus promoting the growth of wildflowers. Plant species such as Bird's-foot Trefoil, Tormentil and Devil's-bit Scabious grow in these areas. These in turn provide feeding opportunities for a variety of caterpillars and adult insects.
A good selection of common birds can be found throughout the wood, including breeding Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Whitethroat. Stonechat and Linnet sometimes breed in the scrubbier western parts of the wood. In winter, a different variety of birds can be found, including Goldcrests, Long-tailed Tits, Treecreepers and Siskins - the latter species making use of the two large stands of Alder towards the west end of the wood. The wood receives visits from Buzzards and Grey Squirrels, especially outside the breeding season.