|What's on in Twyford|
The friends of Ruscombe wood (Forwood) are a friendly group of volunteers working for the conservation of a beautiful piece of woodland, found off Castle End Road in Ruscombe. The local people call it bluebell wood because of the carpet of bluebells that can be found there every spring. The group was formed in 1992 following a public walk and meeting instigated by the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV); who felt that the wood was a prime site for reviving its traditional management for the benefit of both the flora and fauna and the public. The group receives grants from Wokingham District Council.
The 5.3 acre wood is privately owned but has signed permitted footpaths. It contains hazel, ash, willow, oak, Scot's pine, wild apple and hawthorn. Flowers include 3 types of orchid, celedine and of course bluebell. A meadow and ponds add to the diversity of the habitat.
* To restore the traditional management of the wood.
In the past the hazel plantation was regularly coppiced* to provide material for local nurseries. We have resumed this process which increases the light reaching the woodland floor. This in turn encourages the special flora and fauna of managed coppice. Including of course bluebells.
* To conserve and enhance the natural habitat.
We have cut and laid the boundary hedgerow using materials produced from the coppicing. Other activities so far include tree planting, footpath maintenance, litter clearance, nestbox erection and pond clearance.
* To revive and maintain traditional skills.
Do you know what a billhook, a from or a beetle are used for?
* To have fun.
Fresh air and exercise in a beautiful woodland, working at your own pace
(* Coppicing is a sustainable form of woodland management that
has been used since Neolithic times.
See for example. Flora Britannica by Richard Mabey Published by Sinclar Steveson, ISBN 1 85619 3772)
Forwood volunteers meet monthly, usually on the 1st Saturday of each month from 10.OO am to 1 pm. New volunteers are always welcome. No special skills or knowledge are necessary. We provide tools and guidance on the day's tasks. Old clothes and strong footwear are recommended.
To find out more please contact:
Loyd: 0118 9345784
George Parker: 0118 9017719
From St James the Great church in the centre of Ruscombe, where we suggest you leave you car, follow the B3024 towards Maidenhead, turn left by the pond down Castle End Road. Follow the bridlepath that you come to on your left. A path starting from the first entry gate on your right leads you into the woods.
Ordnance Survey Grid reference: 799765