This reserve is an ancient woodland, with some adjoining open land. The many mature standard oaks are an impressive feature of the wood. Flowers to be seen include Bluebell, Wood Anemone, Primrose and Pignut.
This 20 acre reserve is an ancient coppice woodland, with three acres of adjoining open land and is very close to Crowsheath Community Woodland (74 acres), a diverse mixture of meadows and young woodland managed by Essex & Suffollk Water in conjunction with Essex Wildlife Trust.
What to look for:
The many mature standad Oaks are an impressive feature of the wood. The coppice trees are mainly Hornbeam, with a little Ash, Midland Hawthorn, Field Maple and Wild Service. Much of the western part of the wood have been coppiced in recent years, and some broad-leaved trees have been replanted. Coppicing is being extended to enhance wildlife interest.
Flowers include Bluebell, Wood Anenome, Primrose, Pignut and Ragged Robin. Lesser Spearwort grow in the ponds in the centre. Most of the bird species typical of lowland broadleaved woodland are present. Several species of warbler (including Sedge Warbler), woodpeckers, Nuthatch and Nightingale have been recorded.
Directions - Access from Crowsheath Lane, which runs south from Downham from the road causeway across Hanningfield Reservoir. Both sites are within easy walking distance of Hanningfield Reservoir nature reserve and visitor centre and the Community Woodland can also be reached via footpaths from Downham and Ramsden Heath villages. Accessible at all times. Dogs allowed if under effective control.
Public Transport - Buses from Ramsden Heath to Wickford via Downham stop at the southern end of the lane.
Did you know?
Crowsheath Wood is included in the living landscape project 35, Hanningfield Reservoir and Woods.