Chopwell Wood really is a wood for everyone. This 360-hectare mixed woodland is a real gem, set right on the fringe of Gateshead. Miles of paths allow fantastic access, walking and cycling into the heart of this fascinating woodland.
More recently Chopwell Wood has been recognised as a PAWS (Plantation on Ancient Woodland Site). This means it was an ancient forest but in more recent times it has been planted with modern timber crops. Most of the ancient trees, predominantly oak, were felled in the 17th and 18th century for ship and bridge building. The remnants of these still survive on the steep crags above the river Derwent. Today, areas of conifer are being removed to help the wood return one day to it's original cover of native trees.
You can now download the Chopwell walking leaflet.
No two parts of this varied woodland are the same and spectacular views of the River Derwent and North Pennines await discovery.
Just the right size for an evening ride or a quick warm-up for some of the region's other mountain bike hot spots at Hamsterley Forest and Kielder Water and Forest Park.
Horse riders are welcome in the forest.
Find out what's on in Chopwell Wood.
The Friends are a local charity that help look after the wood, raising money and lending practical support to complete recreation, conservation and educational projects. The group celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2012. To find out more about the work they do, events that are on and how you can help the group visit their website or call Liz Searle on 01207 542495.
What do other visitors say?
4 StarsAnonymous, 31/Aug/2015
Brilliant woods great for long walks, however why is there no dog poo bins?? There are signs up saying about picking up your dogs poo but there are no bins, I admit I don't pick it o for the simple fact I'm not going to leave plastic bags around the forest floor or take the bags home in my car. I'm tempted to take this further if there are no bins put in even just at the car park. As I feel this lets the forest down, please please put in some bins so I can pick it up and dispose of it in the proper way. Thank you!
Forestry Commission Response
Sorry, but the responsibility for disposal of dog waste lies with the owner. At Chopwell there are no bins as it is a free to visit woodland site and should be treated as a countryside site and not a town park - the Countryside Code applies. This means dog waste around the car park and on trails and grass verges should be bagged and taken home for disposal. In the wider forest, we tolerate a 'stick and flick' approach where waste can be flicked into the undergrowth (such as nettle or bramble) where feet are unlikely to tread. If all dog owners took this approach then there would not be an issue of dog waste in the forest.
1 StarDuncan Mills, 13/Aug/2015
Bike ride route at chopwell woods:
four wooden pillars approx. 1m high have been placed at the end of a technical slope at the powerline route as you go from main car park. I think they are placed in order to slow people down at the end of a route because it runs onto a walkway with a ditch at the opposite end. However I feel that no consideration has been allocated for use with bikes that have wide handle bars (normal for downhill bikes 800mm wide) and the wooden pillars have limited visibility (dark brown which blends in with forest). I think it needs to be re-assessed as I feel they are dangerous as they are. Making them more visible would help, and allowing for a moving bike of wide handle bars would make it safe.
Forestry Commission Response
Thank you for your email. The rangers will look at ways of making the chicane more visible and allowing better passage for bikes without compromising the aim of the chicane to slow cyclists down before they meet the forest road.
the Woods are lovely - but why, o why do dog owners carefully pick up their dog's poo but then leave it in little plastic bags, either suspended from trees or just dropped by the path side? The whole area seemed to be festooned with brightly coloured plastic bags! What are people thinking of? With two small grand-daughters, I absolutely hate dog poo but it would probably be better to leave it, at least it will degrade and dissipate over time, unlike a bright blue plastic bag.