Holford Woods, Somerset

Location: Holford, West Somerset
Areas: 5.8 acres (Oyles Wood), 11.3 acres (Withing Wood) and 16.8 acres (Alfoxton Wood)
Guide prices: £45,000, £75,000 and £85,000

These woodlands are located on the edge of the Quantock Hills, by the popular village of Holford.  The woods are ancient mixed oak and broadleaved woods, with some dense woodland and a large area of woodland described as wood pasture.  There is a large herd of red deer in the area, which provide a great spectacle, but also challenges for the woodland management.  All the woodland forms part of a wider Site of Special Scientific Interest.  A woodland management plan is currently in preparation, under the Woodland Grant Scheme and in consultation with Natural England.

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Directions

Take care, as this is not the easiest site to find, but you will be rewarded when you get there.

From M5
Leave the motorway at junction (southbound) or junction (northbound).  Follow signs for town centre, and leave centre on A39, signed for Minehead.
Follow for miles, past Cannington and Nether Stowey.  After two miles, turn left in the village of Holford turn left just before the Plough Inn.  Follow the lane for half a mile, until you reach the village green.  There is a public car park on the left, or you can drive a little further and park on the side of the bridleway in Alfoxton Wood.

Nearest railway station:
Bridgwater (Network Rail)
Williton (West Somerset Railway)
Limited bus service from Bridgwater, service 14, operated by First Somerset and Avon.

Map of Woodland

Web details sales map

Location Map

Description

Oyles Wood is in the Holford Gen Valley, with a stream running along its western boundary.  It has a range of semi-mature oak trees and younger coppice and other mature trees.  There is a track running through the wood, with direct access on to a local lane.  Part of this track is a public footpath.  The southern end of the site is very steep and relatively inaccessible at present.

Medium term plans for the wood are to widen the track, to help future management, and extend it part way to the south from the current entrance.  We are also seeking to introduce deer fencing, along the western boundary of Withing Wood, to reduce the grazing pressures within the wood.   This will then enable a low key regime of thinning and coppicing to be introduced to the wood.

Withing Wood is the other side of the valley to Oyles Wood, and is again a mixture of mature broadleaves, with a more diverse range of mature timber trees. Access is currently by foot only, and we hope to install a small access track from the main bridleway in to the north of the wood.  Deer grazing pressure is currently high, and a deer fence or other means of deer management is essential for the future management.  An open area of grass and younger trees is situated adjacent to the main wood, and would make a good site for occasional camping.

Alfoxton Wood is a mix of oak and beech woodland. In places this has a dense shrub layer of holly and other shrubs, but the northern section is more open with bracken between the trees.  Natural England have classified this area as wood pasture, and options for future management are still under consideration.  This could include selectively removing holly to open the woods more.  To return to a traditional wood pasture, then it may be desirable to spray the bracken, and maintain a grass and wildflower groundflora by the wild deer grazing.

A wild herd of up to 80 red deer regularly grazes in the fields between Alfoxton and Withing Woods.

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.

The Local Area

The Quantock Hills are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with wooded slopes and open heathland on the hilltops.

The north Somerset coast is within 5 miles, with the larger town of Minehead, with many formal amenities, 15 miles away.  For more formal activities you might wish to try the West Somerset Railway, the old port of Watchet or perhaps the picturesque village of Dunster, all within easy reach.

Dog Pound

The old dog pund, adjacent to Alfoxton Wood

Holford village

Holford  © copy­right Ken Grainger

Moorland above Holford

View from Higher Hare Knapp, towards Holford © copy­right Derek Harper

Williton Station

West Somerset Railway, Williton

Dunster

Dunster © copy­right Alex McGregor

Links

http://www.quantockhills.com/  
http://www.holfordvillage.com/index.html
http://www.visit-exmoor.co.uk/minehead/minehead-home-page
http://www.west-someret-railway.co.uk/
https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunster-castle/

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