Slew Woods, Devon

Location: Roadford Lake, near Launceston, Devon
Area: 28 acres

A mixed broadleaved and conifer woodland with good access, lying just below Roadford Lake. The wood is mainly a mix of productive Sitka Spruce and a large area of old oak coppice. One compartment is stocked with larch, with a heathland groundflora below. A system of forest tracks and paths give good access throughout the wood.

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Directions

The woodland is situated just to the south west of Roadford Reservoir, one mile off the A30. Please contact us if you are interested in visiting this wood. Access is via a track shared with a neighbouring farmer and the south West lakes Trust.

Nearest railway station: Okehampton (16 miles) or Copplestone (30 miles).

Map of Woodland

Location Map

Description

Slew Wood is a mix of commercial conifers and ancient oak coppice woodland. It is situated on a hillside below Roadford Lake, and has good access tracks running through the area. The woodland was last thinned around three years ago, and two open areas add interest and have a range of natural regeneration in them.

Sitka Spruce is the main softwood and there are smaller areas of Larch and Western Hemlock. The Larch is on poorer ground and not the best timber, and would benefit from replacement with either Sitka Spruce or everything back to broadleaved woodland. Areas of oak could usefully thinned for firewood.

The woodland is an ancient woodland, and the presumption would be to at least retain the current native oak areas, but grants may be available to convert other areas back to broadleaves.

The woodland has an interesting history; extracts from a letter in 1967 reveal that it is thought that monks from Frithelstock Priory came to plant oak trees on the land they owned at Slew. In those days oak bark was used for tanning leather and the monks made part of their living by selling the bark. The fact that the woods were once owned by the monks is the reason for the little well in the wood being called “Lady well” from “Our Lady’s well”. The woodland formed part of the Carlyon Estate, of Tregrehan, from the 16th century, before being sold to a Launceston timber company in 1952. South West Water bought the wood in 1984, as part of works to build the Roadford Reservoir, selling to Wildlife Woodlands in early 2016.

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 woodland is very close to Roadford Lake, a major centre run by South West Lakes Trust, which includes sailing, cycling, walking trails and a cafe. Dartmoor National Park is a few miles away, as are the market towns of Okehampton and Launceston. Other nearby attractions include the Fairground Heritage Centre and the Dartmoor Railway.

Roadford

Roadford Lake © copy­right David Smith

Fairground Centre

Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre

Links

http://www.swlakestrust.org.uk/lakes-and-facilities/the-lakes/roadford-lake
http://www.visitdartmoor.co.uk/
http://fairground-heritage.org.uk/
http://www.dartmoorrailway.com/

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