A delightful wander amongst ancient trees
It is a particularly beautiful place to be when the trees take on their autumn colours in October and early November. In spring the woodland floor is carpeted with bluebells.
Start: Parish Council car park, off Alverstone Rd on Winford to Alverstone road, grid ref: SZ566843
Enter the wood and start to descend. The path soon reaches a cathedral-like clearing with fallen logs offering good places to sit.
Bear left immediately on entering the clearing and take a rising path, the left-most of two paths leaving the clearing at the same point. Pass through a holly thicket on the way to the top where it begins to open out near the edge of the wood. Turn right to descend again just before some house gardens. Bear left at a junction, following the line of the boundary of the gardens and soon the path broadens out in a clearing by an oak tree. Follow this track onwards and downwards till it meets an even wider crossing track, shortly after passing Borthwood Jumps on the right.
Interesting flowers include wood anemone, common cow wheat, wood sorrel, primroses and foxgloves. In spring the woodland floor is carpeted with bluebells. Look out for woodland butterflies along rides and glades. These include brimstone, speckled wood and white admiral. Flowers and insects both benefit from the extra sunlight that is let in when trees are felled and coppiced. Various woodland birds can be seen such as great spotted woodpeckers, blackcaps, chiffchaffs, blue tits and great tits. Both the larger trees with rot holes and the younger growth from areas of coppice provide suitable nesting sites (direction 2).
Turn right and follow this track almost to the edge of the wood, ignoring all side paths. Over its length, the path rises gently through a gully, then falls, and rises again.
Eventually a field is seen through the trees to the left. Just before a right bend which leads to a stile and out of the wood, turn right along a westerly path which follows the line of the edge of the wood. It rises gently, emerging shortly after another holly thicket close to a fence into a field on the left. Turn right here and follow the path downwards, past a fallen oak and yet more holly, to a crossing path.
End: Parish Council car park, off Alverstone Rd on Winford to Alverstone road, grid ref: SZ566843