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Shadwell Wood Nature Reserve

Winter: The track to the parking area at Shadwell Wood can be too muddy for many vehicles to negotiate safely. Accordingly, please can visitors park on the opposite side of the main road (between Saffron Walden and Ashdon), cross over, and walk down to the nature reserve from there. Thank you.

A 17.5 acre ancient woodland, which has been coppiced regularly. The wood has a deer fence around it and early spring brings Oxlips, Wood Violets and Wood Anemones. These give way to early Purple Orchids, Bluebells, Bugle and Herb Paris.

What to look for:

The trees in this oxlip woodland are Oak and Ash, with coppiced Hazel and Maple growing between them. Shadwell Wood is sympathetically managed so that many of our woodland flowering plants flourish. Ray Tabor is warden of this wood and has a particular interest in deer management and has led the Trust's project of the re-introduction of the Oxlip to Great Bardfield.

A host of flowering plants grow on the woodland floor. Early spring brings Oxlips, Wood Violets and Wood Anemones. These give way to early Purple Orchids, Bluebells, Bugle and Herb Paris. Summer brings Common Spotted Orchids, Meadowsweet and Sanicle.

The wood is managed in the traditional manner by coppicing. This encourages many summer visiting birds to nest including the occasional Nightingale. Fencing is used to exclude deer from the wood otherwise they would browse the tender coppice regrowth, killing or stunting the trees and eat the flowers.

Oxlips only grow where the counties of Cambridgeshire, Essex and Suffolk meet.

Access

Accessible at all times. Small site not suitable for dog walking.

Public Transport - Nothing suitable

Directions - On the main road from Saffron Walden, about one mile before the village of Ashdon. Entrance to the reserve is by a track at the side of 'Barleycroft' bungalow. The track can be difficult in wet weather.

Did you know?

Shadwell Wood was visited by Oliver Rackham and he found it to be one of the best oxlip woodlands in the country and thought it to be an excellent example of ancient woodlands, with all the woodland indicators, such as Bluebells, Primroses and Dogs Mercury.

Species and habitats

Habitats
Woodland

Nearby nature reserves

West Wood Nature Reserve
6 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust
Lower Wood
8 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Fulbourn Fen
10 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
Shadwell Wood
Nature Reserve
One mile from Ashdon
Saffron Waldon
Essex
Map reference
TL 573 412
Best time to visit
Mar - Jul
Sep - Nov
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Accessible at all times
Size
7.08 hectares
Access
No

Terrain can be difficult and the footpaths are not suitable for wheelchair users
Walking information
Track leading to the entrance can be difficult in wet weather
Parking
yes
Dogs
Dogs under effective control
Reserve manager
Essex Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01621 862960
admin@essexwt.org.uk