Published: Monday, 20th June 2022

Future walks at Oakley Wood will be more accessible due to an upgrade of the main path network this summer.

Known for a wonderful walk any time of the year, the popular woodland can be muddy at times particularly during the winter months, a situation which has been compounded whilst essential woodland management work was being carried out.

However, now thanks to the completion of two main seasons of woodland thinning, a process of clearing some conifer trees to make way for the return of native broadleaved trees, a 3,300 metre stone pathway will be laid to create a large circuit and smaller loop around the wood.

Councillor Alan Rhead, Warwick District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Climate Change commented:

“With no large-scale woodland management scheduled for the winter, this is a perfect time to improve the access to all visitors and at the same time help to protect our local wildlife. The new footpaths will help visitors navigate some of the trickier sections during the wetter months; and improve the natural woodland habitats by preventing trampling.”

The Director of Nature Reserves at Warwickshire Wildlife, Karl Curtis, added:

“Through the management of the woodland to help our wildlife, this has enabled us to create a benefit for the many visitors who visit Oakley Wood. The woodland management is important to ensure our woodlands are resilient and rich in wildlife for generations to come, but we do need to bring people along on that journey and reconnect them with wildlife. By making the site more accessible we hope that the new path will do just that.”

Elizabeth Sheehan, Chair of the Friends of Oakley Wood said:

“FoOW greatly welcome the news that the footpaths in Oakley Wood are to be upgraded soon. Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and Warwick District Council have cooperated to make this improvement possible.

The woodland footpaths have been impacted over a number of years by the necessary clearing of timber. These clearings have been replanted with native British trees, and careful consideration has been given to benefitting and encouraging wildlife and their habitats.

We can all look forward to the enhancement of our walks in Oakley Wood both safeguarding the environment and the wildlife for future generations.”

The work will start in late June and will continue for around a month. There will be posters up on site to explain the works and some temporary access restrictions will be in place during the works. Warwick District Council and the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust would like to thank visitors in advance for their patience and understanding while the path laying is taking place.

About Oakley Wood

After the Second World War, Oakley Wood was cleared and replanted with non-native conifers to remedy timber shortages. As a result, the woodland is all of the same age and therefore of limited use to wildlife, which benefits from a more diverse selection of native trees.

To promote the establishment of native broadleaved trees, the Trust working in partnership with the woodland owners, Warwick District Council are carrying out management over a ten-year period, as part of the 25 year restoration to replace the conifers with native species.

This work will be supported by the local community group the Friends of Oakley Wood.

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust is the leading local environmental charity which works for people and wildlife in Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull.

The Trust looks after over 66 reserves, we are a voluntary membership organisation supported by more than 23,000 members and 560 volunteers. 

We promote a better natural environment for local wildlife and local people as part of our aim to create a living landscape in the West Midlands where wildlife and local people can live and thrive together.

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust has set up a page for woodland management frequently asked questions.

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