West Wood
Common Spotted Orchids

West Wood Nature Reserve

Wander around this spectacular woodland filled with rare and beautiful flowers such as Oxlips and Greater Butterfly Orchids

Location

B1051
Thaxted
Essex
CB10 2SA

OS Map Reference

TL625331
A static map of West Wood Nature Reserve

Know before you go

Size
23 hectares

Parking information

Limited parking at entrance to the reserve, just off of the B1051

Walking trails

Multiple footpaths around and through the woods 

Access

Un-surfaced paths, can be muddy when wet 

Dogs

Dogs permitted
Under effective control

When to visit

Opening times

Accessible at all times

Best time to visit

April to July and November to February

About the reserve

This wonderful mixed deciduous woodland, with Ash, Hazel, Field Maple and more, is rich in plant and wildlife. Coppiced as far back as the Middle Ages, this woodland holds a number of important and beautiful species that thrive in the coppiced rides and glades. In spring, wander past rides full of pale yellow Oxlips, nationally scarce and only found in this small area of East Anglia, with the warming days bringing Speckled Wood, Brimstone and Ringlet butterflies flitting through the trees and glades.

As the weather starts to warm after winter, the four ponds are soon bursting with life as the Great Crested Newts begin their courtship dances and Dragonflies and Damselflies start to emerge. Tiny Goldcrests nest alongside Warblers and Buzzards, while a large flock of Stock Doves settle in the standing dead trees.

In early summer, Purple and Greater Butterfly Orchids can be found as well as Essex rare Wood Barley. The woods are awash with colour come autumn, as the leaves start to turn with their beautiful red and golden tones.

Contact us

Environmental designation

Ancient Woodland
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Ragged Robin

Credit - Lee Schofield

Did you know?

West Wood is a wet woodland, so bring your wellington boots! 
This distinctive feature of the wood leads to some interesting plants thriving here that you would not associate with a woodland - Ragged Robin grows particularly well in the rides and glades