Exmoor Woods

North Devon and West Somerset

Chelfham Wood, Bick­ing­cott Wood and Hol­ford Woods were pur­chased in May 2013, with the inten­tion of under­tak­ing sig­nif­i­cant restora­tion work and access improve­ments.  The pre­vi­ous own­ers, the League Against Cruel Sports, main­tained the woods as sanc­tu­ar­ies against hunt­ing.  Deer are com­mon in the woods, but there has been lit­tle recent man­age­ment.  The woods at Hol­ford are part of a Site of Spe­cial Sci­en­tific Inter­est, and together the three woods total 145 acres.  They are located in an arc to the south of Exmoor, although not within the National Park.

Chelfham Woods Photographs

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Loca­tions

IMPORTANT: please con­tact us in advance of any poten­tial view­ing visit.  The woods are not yet on the mar­ket, and access is lim­ited.  There are lim­ited pub­lic foot­path and bri­dle­way routes at Chelfham and Hol­ford, but we have yet to under­take basic tree sur­vey and safety work.  If you think you may be inter­ested in some of the woods, please con­tact us by e-mail or tele­phone and we will be happy to dis­cuss options.

The woods are not yet on the mar­ket, and access is lim­ited.  There are lim­ited pub­lic foot­path and bri­dle­way routes at Chelfham and Hol­ford, but we have yet to under­take basic tree sur­vey and safety work.  If you think you may be inter­ested in some of the woods, please con­tact us by e-mail or tele­phone and we will be happy to dis­cuss options.

Chelfham is near to Barn­sta­ple in north Devon.  A byway bisects the wood­land, but is only suit­able for access on foot.  There is a main track into the woods from the north, and this will be upgraded in the com­ing months.

Hol­ford is a more open site with bri­dlepaths and foot­paths giv­ing some access.  The woods are also close to open moor­land, and the vil­lage is a start­ing point for walk­ing and horse riding.

Bick­ing­cott is not avail­able to visit.

Any vis­its to Chelfham or Hol­ford are at your own risk.  Be aware of falling tim­ber and branches, and avoid windy days.

Map

Hol­ford Woods Photographs

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Descrip­tion

Chelfham (90 acres total)is a mix of mature wood­land, includ­ing some top qual­ity stands of oak, old mead­ows and areas of for­mer agri­cul­tural land now being colonised by hazel and other young trees.  There is a major stream run­ning through the val­ley, and some of the river val­ley is flat and suit­able for either alder and wil­low wet­land, but w also we intend to inves­ti­gate the option of cre­at­ing a large pond.  The wood­land to the west is cur­rently inac­ces­si­ble, and will require major track con­struc­tion.  The main track will also be upgraded to give vehi­cle access to the full length of the prop­erty.  We believe that the woods will appeal to a range of prospec­tive own­ers.  The mead­ows could be used for graz­ing, plant­ing orchards, or allot­ments and mar­ket gar­den­ing.  They may be avail­able sep­a­rately or with the areas of woodland.

Bick­ing­cott (19 acres) is sim­i­lar in some ways, being a com­bi­na­tion of mature oak cop­pice and aban­doned hill­side fields.  It is sur­rounded by pri­vately owned farm­land and access can only be by accom­pa­nied prior appointment.

Hol­ford (36 acres) splits into three broad areas: Oyles and With­ing Wood is a tra­di­tional val­ley wood­land with mature tim­ber trees and cop­pice.  It bor­ders the Som­er­set Wildlife Trust reserve, Hol­ford Kelt­ing.  Alfox­ton Woods, to the west, is a more typ­i­cal upland wood, of pre­dom­i­nantly oak, beech and holly, with areas of more open bracken.  A cen­tral area is more open, with recent tree plant­ing, and well used by locals and vis­i­tors. The site’s eco­log­i­cal impor­tance is empha­sised by its des­ig­na­tion as a Site of Spe­cial Sci­en­tific Inter­est, which will guide its future man­age­ment.  The des­ig­na­tion may attract addi­tional grant aid for future man­age­ment, but will also pro­vide con­straints, for exam­ple retain­ing sig­nif­i­cant ele­ments of dead wood habi­tat.  The woods will appeal to those with a strong inter­est in conservation.

The Local Area

Chelfham is close to the town of Barn­sta­ple, with Exmoor National Park to the east.  Nearby are the National Trust’s Arling­ton Court and the beaches of Woola­combe and Morthoe for surf­ing, or Braun­ton Bur­rows for wildlife.

Links:

Arling­ton Court
Woola­combe

Braun­ton Bur­rows

Exmoor National Park

Hol­ford is sit­u­ated within the Quan­tock Hills Area of Out­stand­ing Nat­ural Beauty.  It is a pop­u­lar area for hol­i­day and day vis­i­tors alike, and within close reach of the Som­er­set coast.  Local attrac­tions include Dun­ster and Dun­ster Cas­tle, the West Som­er­set Rail­way and the Forestry Commission’s Great Wood, as well as the tra­di­tional sea­side resort of Minehead.

Links:

Quan­tock Hills AONB
Dun­ster Cas­tle

West Som­er­set Rail­way

Great Wood

Minehead

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