Parent Category: Out_and_About
Penn Wood is owned and managed by the Woodland Trust and is 436 acres adjoining Common Wood to the North and East. It is one of the largest semi-natural ancient woodland and wood pasture in the Chilterns, is rich in wildlife and flora including at least 10 plants not commonly found in the county. It has a good bird population and a number of nationally scarce invertebrates. It includes the remains of an ancient beech and a veteran oak, along with a scattering of trees dating back more than 200 years.
Until the mid 1800s Penn Wood was an ancient wood pasture where local people had important rights of common including grazing of animals. Then to the considerable anger of the local inhabitants, the area was enclosed and converted to privately owned high beech forest. At that time some of the rides through the area were lined with specimen conifers and rhododendrons. From about 1950 about half the site was felled and replanted with conifers, beech and oak. In the early 1990s further felling took place in preparation for fairways as part of another controversial proposal - this time to create a golf course.
The Friends of Penn Wood led the successful campaign to prevent the development of the proposed golf course and continue to take an active interest in the site. A copy of The History can be obtained from the of Penn Wood Woodland Trust.
Penn Wood now consists of a mosaic of ancient semi-natural woodland with plantations of mixed broadleaf and conifer, rich heathy grassland and scrub. As such it has a character much more like the wood pasture of the past than it has been for the past 150 years. One veteran oak, the remains of an ancient collapsed beech tree and a scattering of trees over 200 years old can be found across the site. Many archaeological features are also visible such as wood banks, f lint and clay pits.Future
The Woodland Trust bought Penn Wood in April 1999 and over the coming years we will be actively encouraging the wildlife of Penn Wood by removing some of the conifers so native broadleaved woodland can develop. We will look after the mature trees and keep them into old age and decline, where it is safe to do so, and we will use grazing animals such as cattle to keep the sunny open spaces which are so attractive to wild flowers and butterf lies.
Find out more at the Woodland Trust website.
Open Spaces News
Common Wood…Volunteers at work
After a below average rainfall last year the rain returned with a vengeance to fill the ponds and turn unmade tracks to mud. The damp triggered a late flurry of fungi. The numbers using the wood increased, partly due to works in Penn Wood that have created deep ruts on the paths. At this time of year, our hardened paths attract visitors from other areas where paths have been reduced to mud.
Annual tree inspections identified hazards and remedial works were undertaken to make safe in December. It is difficult to predict unsafe trees as the problem may not be visible. Wherever possible trees are left as standing stumps to provide a habitat and wood users are reminded that felled wood is not to be removed.Read more...
Kingswood all ability path grand opening
Saturday the 5 November 2011 saw the grand opening of the Kingswood All Ability Path by Steve Baker MP. It was a crisp dry day and the autumn leaves were a fantastic array of oranges, browns and golds as the morning air cleared everyone’s lungs and set us up for the weekend ahead. Read more...
Common wood update – Autumn to Winter 2011
At the beginning of November the leaves suddenly turned from green to the yellows and orange-browns of Autumn telling us that another year is passing. There is a good crop of beech mast and acorns to provide food for the wildlife and future regeneration of the tree population.
Common Wood Tree Works
A safety survey in Common Wood has resulted in some trees requiring to be made safe. Some paths may be temporarily closed or obstructed between Monday 28 November and Friday 9 December while this safety work is being carried out.
Notices are posted at the entrances to the woods - please remember to comply with any warnings, instructions or diversions.
We apologise for any inconvenience.
Dual purpose treesThe Woodland Trust has published their royal record of tree planting online. The record shows that 29 red twigged limes (Tilia Platyphyllos Corallina) were planted on the common and a maple (Acer Negundo Albo Variegatum) in St Margarets Churchyard. Read more...