Wilful Vandal or Misguided Do-gooder?

In the last week or so (probably between 18 and 25 March) someone has taken a saw into the woods and severed the stems of all the ivy growing on about 30 trees in the middle of the woods, just above meadow 3. This unauthorised work has caused extensive loss of habitat for a considerable number of species and has changed the balance of the environment in this part of the woods. Now that the leaves have fallen off the ivy, the newly built birds’ nests are more exposed to the elements and predators.

FGHW is aware of different views about removing ivy from trees. Much discussion has led to a clear strategy in our management plan for this woodland nature reserve. The removal of this ivy is contrary to FGHW’s management plan for the woods.

Ivy is valued for providing a safe habitat throughout the year for birds, insects and small invertebrates. Ivy also produces dark berries for birds to eat in the late autumn, and provides the last source of nectar in the year for bees and butterflies. For these reasons mature ivy is allowed to grow in the central parts of the woodland.

Ivy tends to shorten the life of weak or dying trees, however. This is particularly an issue in the marginal areas of woodland. Here, the weight of ivy can bring down branches and can result in trees falling onto the roadway in Wood Lane. For this reason we periodically remove ivy on mature trees, but only in the woodland that forms the outer 5 metres or so round the boundary of the site. Even in these areas we leave the ivy on cut stumps, small sycamore and ash, and where it has developed into bush structures.

If you are able to help us find out who was responsible for this unauthorised work, do let us know by using the contact form, or by speaking to a member of the FGHW committee. We would treat this information and source confidentially, of course, but would like to locate and speak with the perpetrator.

Posted 29th March 2021

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Please be careful when walking in the woods

To protect growing wild garlic and bluebells at the far side of the woods we have cordoned off several newly created paths through the woodland, either with blue rope or small piles of logs and branches.  Please keep to the main path to avoid damaging the plants that make this nature reserve such a beautiful place in the spring.  Also, please always try to keep to the original main paths to protect the woodland from damage.

Posted 27th February 2021

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Annual Report

Our annual report for 2020 is now available here:
FGHW Annual reports

Posted 20th July 2020

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Meadow and Woodland Management Plans

We’ve updated the meadow and woodland management plans. These can be downloaded from here:
Woodland management plan
Meadow management plan

Posted 22nd May 2020

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New Map

We have an updated downloadable sketch map of the woods and meadow, showing the pathways. This can be downloaded from our Maps page, or from here:


Posted 22nd May 2020

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Record Sheets

We have record sheets available that will help you to catalogue and record what you may see in the woods and meadows. If you would like to help with cataloguing, then please fill out a record sheet:

FGHW Record Sheet
FGHW Butterfly Count Sheet

Posted 18th June 2019

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Safeguarding children in the woods and meadows

Dog walkers please be aware that children from Daisies Day Nursery regularly use the woods and meadows as part of their Forest School activities. They mainly use the top of the second meadow and the woodland to the north and east of the third meadow. Many of these young children are frightened when a dog rushes over and jumps up at them, no matter how friendly the dog is.

We understand that you may not always see the children from the distance, particularly in the woods. If you do see children in the woods and meadows, though, please put your dog on a lead and keep your dog away from the children.  Please remember it is your responsibility to keep your dog under control at all times.

The prime times for Forest School activities are 9.00 to 11.30 am and 2.00 to 3.30 pm. Please be particularly vigilant at these times.

Posted 25th April 2018