Eastacott Wood, Near Barnstaple, Devon

Loca­tion: Stoke Rivers, near Barn­sta­ple, Devon
Area: 11.3  acres
Price: £69,000 Sold, sub­ject to contract

This wood is sit­u­ated in a very quiet val­ley close to the mar­ket town of Barn­sta­ple.  The site is mainly mature ancient wood­land with a small old meadow now revert­ing back to wood­land.  An old wet meadow down by the river includes an area used as a wal­low by red deer.  The wood has ample stream frontage, and a recently con­structed pond.  It is reached by cross­ing a new bridge suit­able for use by large for­est machin­ery and fam­ily cars.

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Direc­tions

From North Devon Link Road
•     At the first round­about approach­ing Barn­sta­ple from the east, turn right on the A39, signed Barn­sta­ple and Lyn­ton.
•    Con­tinue through two small round­about towards the town cen­tre.  At third round­about turn right, signed town cen­tre, Ilfra­combe and Lyn­ton.
•    Turn right again at next round­about, signed Braun­ton, Ilfra­combe and Lyn­ton (still A39).
•    Take the right hand lane and turn right at the next set of traf­fic lights, signed Goodleigh and Brat­ton Flem­ing
•    Fol­low this road for three miles, along the Yeo river val­ley, until you come to a right hand turn, by Chelfham School and a large rail­way viaduct.  Turn right here.
•    The wood­land entrance is 600 metres on the right, next to a small yard and just before a steep hill.
•    The gate is cur­rently pad­locked; please con­tact Stephen Lees at Wildlife Wood­lands to arrange access.
•    A small a stone tim­ber stack­ing and park­ing area is 50 yards on the right.  Park here and walk along the main track, bear­ing right after four hun­dred yards.  The track descends to a bridge, with fur­ther park­ing and tim­ber load­ing area on the other side.
•    Eas­t­a­cott Wood lies to the right of the track.  Pro­ceed along the main track, turn­ing right at a T-junction.  You soon come to an old hedge bank pass­ing down the hill, either side of the track.  This is the old wood­land bound­ary, and from here on Eas­t­a­cott lies to both sides of the track.

Near­est rail­way sta­tion: Barn­sta­ple 5 miles

Map of Woodland

Eastacott Wood map 0715

Loca­tion Map

Descrip­tion

Eas­t­a­cott  Wood is mainly mature ancient wood­land with smaller areas of younger sec­ondary wood­land, the lat­ter prob­a­bly devel­op­ing since the Sec­ond World War.  The east­ern bound­ary is formed by a stream, which has occa­sional otters pass­ing through.  The south­ern bound­ary fol­lows an old Devon hedge­abd then the for­est track back to the stream and bridge.  Park­ing on the far side of the bridge is shared with South­cott Wood.

The areas of ancient wood­land have a mix­ture of tim­ber species, with oak, ash, beech and sycamore all present in sig­nif­i­cant num­bers, with wild cherry, alder and sil­ver birch also present.  Hazel is the pre­dom­i­nant shrub, with some more open areas on the higher slopes being dom­i­nated by bracken, but giv­ing wide­spread views from South­cott Wood.  There is con­sid­er­able dead tim­ber within both woods, partly a result of very lit­tle man­age­ment in pre­vi­ous years.  This does pro­vide a good habi­tat, but per­haps the wood would ben­e­fit from some clear­ing to encour­age more nat­ural regen­er­a­tion and fur­ther increase the wood­land diversity.

There is an old quarry within Eas­t­a­cott Wood, which was prob­a­bly the source of stone for sev­eral local houses, includ­ing Hake­ford Farm.  Please stay on the tracks when walk­ing around the wood, espe­cially on the higher route, to avoid any risk of falling in the quarry!

A new track was installed around the woods in autumn 2014, and spring 2015.  Tim­ings were to avoid harm to dormice, which are thought likely to be in the wood.  (They have been recorded on the other side of the road).

A local fire­wood con­trac­tor is work­ing on the site, clear­ing trees cut for the new tracks, and the inten­tion is for this work to con­tinue and extend into a thin­ning pro­gramme for the wood.  How­ever, this can be at the dis­cre­tion of a new owner, who may wish to retain some or all of the fire­wood for their own use.

Hake­ford Wood and mead­ows, on the west­ern side of the stream is being used to run For­est School activ­i­ties for local school­child­ren.  If signs are in place on your visit please respect them, and ensure any dogs are on a lead until you pass into Eas­t­a­cott Wood.

Title

Free­hold, reg­is­tered land.  Sport­ing rights are held by the League Against Cruel Sports.  Any deer or squir­rel man­age­ment arrange­ments have to be agreed in advance with the League.

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The Local Area

The near­est town is Barn­sta­ple, a busy mar­ket town with a range of facil­i­ties.
Also within easy reach are the pop­u­lar beach resorts of Woola­combe and Morthoe, with Ilfa­combe a lit­tle fur­ther away.  Woola­combe has recently been voted the best beach in Britain, and one of Europe’s top five!  Chelfham Woods are close to the east­ern parts of Exmoor National Park, with the National Trust’s Arling­ton Court a pop­u­lar destination.

 

Chelfham Station

Chelfham Rail­way Station

Woolacombe

Woola­combe  © copy­right Ron Strutt

Arlington

Arling­ton Court © copy­right Peter Kazmier­czak

Links

http://www.staynorthdevon.co.uk/site.htm
http://www.barnstaplepanniermarket.co.uk/  
http://www.woolacombetourism.co.uk/  
http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/arlington-court/
http://www.lynton-rail.co.uk/page/chelfham-station

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