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Explore West Woods
(Average user rating: 5 unrated 4.3/5)

West Woods is a very beautiful plantation of beech trees on a former ancient woodland site. A long and gradual process is under way to increase the biodiversity of the woodland by introducing native species other than just beech, through the promotion of natural regeneration and planting.

The woodland becomes very popular in late spring due to the fantastic displays of bluebells which carpet the forest floor in certain areas. There is a good network of trails including an easy access route.

What do other visitors say?

5 Stars 5 Stars

I have been on a walk today ( Tuesday 9th May 2017) to the West Woods. It was beautiful and the bluebells looked like a sea of blue. This was the first time I have been to the Bluebell Woods and the forest floor was carpeted with bluebells it looked really magical.

Dawn , 9/May/2017
5 Stars 5 Stars

Went to woods today with electric wheelchair went around easy the bluebells are stunning

Smell nearly there due to rain shower. Not yet perfect but a slice of heaven on earth lovely

Monday 1st of May one not to be missed

Pauline, 1/May/2017

We are so pleased that you enjoyed your visit to West Woods and were able to enjoy the glorious Bluebells! Thank you for your comments

Forestry Commission Response
1 Star 1 Star

25th May 2017

Re: West Woods Bluebells

I have lived in the area for many years and am utterly dismayed at the lack of bluebells in West Woods that have been so depleted to the effect that they are becoming non-existent. Whereas, over the years, on entering the woods one would be greeted by the magic of a carpet of blue. However, all that is left is rough ground, full of brambles and old branches, as I understand it, all in the name of saving the dormouse!

Well, this is not appreciated; it is very disappointing and a sacrilege to an ancient area of outstanding natural beauty. Please give us back our bluebells.

Yours faithfully,

Sue Fox

c.c. Marlborough Lyons

Wiltshire Gazette and Herald

Sue, 25/Apr/2017

We are sorry you were disappointed with your recent visit. West woods is a managed plantation, comprised predominately of beech trees. The bluebells thrive under a closed canopy where nothing else grows. We have thinned some of the stands of beech in order to open up the canopy and allow light to reach the forest floor. The growth of new trees as well as bramble, develops an under-storey which is of great wildlife value. Although we love the bluebells, we also want a resilient forest that will last forever and provide a host of different wildlife habitats. We also want to encourage a future timber crop to grow up under the current crop – this is called continuous cover forestry. Although the even-aged monoculture of beech looks very beautiful with a carpet of bluebells underneath, it is isn’t actually providing a great deal of wildlife benefit. We must make out woodlands as diverse and resilient as possible in managing them for timber, wildlife and people.

Forestry Commission Response
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Please tell us about your visit

Please email us at westengland@forestry.gsi.gov.uk if you have an enquiry, a complaint or would like a personal reply to your comments.

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Last updated: 29th February 2016

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What's Here?

  • Parking
  • Picnic
  • Walking
  • Barbeque
  • 10 bbq sites are available on a first come, first served basis.
More about what's here

Location

OS Grid ref: SU163667
Postcode: SN8

Get directions

Contact

West England District
-
0300 067 4800
westengland@­forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Family activities

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.