There’s no better time to go walking in the woods than when bluebells are in flower and we are spoilt for choice in Chorleywood.
Both Philipshill and Carpenters Wood are carpeted with the nation’s favourite wild flower, albeit for only a couple of weeks.
Bluebells are a giveaway sign of ancient woodland, and Carpenters is at least 400 years old. The Ancient Bridleway The Chiltern Way follows the farm track from Farm Road and Blacketts Wood Drive, into the Wood at the farm gate, down to the Barrel Arch, and on up the hill to the A404 and to Chenies. This path probably dates back to the 1600s and would have been the path linking Chenies Manor with Shire Lane and beyond, used to bring live-stock or wood-fuel up and down the hills and providing a historic link between Chenies and Churlswood (Chorleywood) villages.
Luckily for us teams of volunteers make sure our woods are cared for. Friends of Carpenters Wood meet twice a month in consultation with the Countryside Management Service and Three Rivers District Council to tackle jobs like clearing this bridleway and footpaths, thinning out trees to encourage wildflowers and native woodland plants, installing benches and setting up bird and bat boxes.
“ The winter season has been spent clearing substantial amounts of holly from along the edges of the woodland, opening up the footpaths to the light and sunshine.” says Barbara Green, “A number of the new bird boxes are now inhabited and some activity has been observed in bat boxes. Bluebells are fantastic and we expect them towards the end of April. Projects for the summer include path clearance, clearing glades which provide open spaces in the woodland, and bramble control. Also some sapling thinning, in the autumn we will be planting our oak saplings in Hillas wood.”
Our second ancient bluebell wood Philipshill Wood at the top of Old Shire Lane is owned by the Woodland Trust and has been a working wood for generations. It contains tow earthworks of great antiquity that pre-date the woodland. Friends carry out similar projects at weekly working parties on Wednesday mornings.
Friends of Carpenters Wood: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friends of Philipshill Wood : email@example.com