This small broadleaved wood in South Marston near Swindon has been newly planted and will reward regular visitors as it develops and matures. With plenty of potential to attract wildlife, who knows what may take up residence? With its light, airy feel it offers a pleasant walk along its perimeter path and is easy to walk to from the village. Look out for the brass rubbing posts, wildlife mosaic and special table and bench forged by a local blacksmith.
The wood was transferred to our care by The Hills Group. It was officially opened in September 2011. The wood is planted with a mix of oak, ash, spindle, wayfaring tree, wild cherry, hawthorn, hazel, alder, field maple. Its boundaries are marked by a stream and hedgerows. Already it is rich with insect life, especially butterflies including comma, speckled wood, ringlet, gatekeeper and small copper. Come at dusk and you might see noctule and pipistrelle bats hunting for their insect prey, and hear the rustle of fox and roe deer. Buzzard, magpies and gulls swoop in the air.
We will manage the reserve for the first five years and then hand it over to a local community trust or group, working with them to draw up a plan. We are cutting the grass to encourage wildflowers, have dug a small pond and will thin the trees as they mature.