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Explore Broaks Wood
(Average user rating: 4 unrated 3.2/5)

Looking up into the crown of a Giant redwood (Sequoiadendron giganteum)





Most varied wood in Essex, includes an unusual example of a Giant Redwood grove - the world's tallest growing tree spieces.

The majority of the wood is designated as an Ancient Woodland Site and has probably existed since the end of the last ice-age 12,000 years ago.

12th and 13th century pottery sites have been discovered in the wood. Woodbanks of a unknown date and specific wildflowers show evidence of its ancient woodland origins.

The wood was purchased from the Courtauld Estate by the Forestry Commission in 1956.


The wood covers 62 hectares and has over 5 miles of paths open to walkers.

Variety of wildlife

There are few sites in Essex to rival Broaks Wood for its variety of plants and animals. Records show 25 species of butterfly, 4 species of amphibians, 2 species of reptiles, 3 species of bat and many other mammal species including Fallow Deer. The site also has many species of wild flower. 

What do other visitors say?

3 Stars 3 Stars

On Sunday I visited the wood for the first time in forty years it was supposed to be a trip down memory lane as Bradleys cottage as it was then known was my first home with my wife and we had some very happy memorys of the place.I must say how sickened I was to see all the dogs mess on the ground and hanging from the trees in bags that we saw also lots of litter and general rubbish.could you tell me how often this is inspected and dealt with as I would love to see it when its cleaned up as I remember it.Next time I will take a bag and gloves with me. such a shame people have to abuse such a beautiful place and spoil it for others.

Ian, 20/Feb/2018

We are sorry that you were disappointed during your visit to Broaks Wood. The car park and way marked trail are inspected by a contractor once a month and other visits are carried out as often as possible. There is a litter bin and a dog waste bin in the main car park. We appreciate that most responsible dog owners do clear up after their pets and remove the waste but unfortunately some of our visitors do not and this can be difficult to police.

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

I notice you have circled all the dog poo along the main path with luminous paint. Before the dog bin was provided the advice was to flick with a stick into the undergrowth. The reason people are still doing this is that the bin is in the wrong place. If you put it near the Hide everybody walking that way will bin it. Otherwise they have to go back to where they came from. Logistics!

Angela Patmore, 17/Jul/2017

Our forest code is to bag and bin your dog's waste where you can or 'stick and flick' it when you are deeper into the woods. Our dog waste bins are emptied by the council and a requirement of this is that they are located within a certain distance of the main road.

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

There's a bird's nest inside the hide, because the shutters have been left open!

Martin, 30/Apr/2017

Thank you for letting us know.

Forestry Commission Response
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Last updated: 10th July 2018

Help us take care of your forest

What's Here?

  • Dogs on lead
  • Horse riding
  • Orienteering
  • Picnic
  • Walking
  • Parking
  • Off of the A1017 north of Gosfield
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: TL784316

Get directions


Alice Greenacre

0300 067 4965

Opening & Parking

Opening Times:
Dawn to Dusk
Off of the A1017 north of Gosfield
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.