Woodland Trust: 01476 581111
Spud Wood is located in the Cheshire village of Oughtrington (near Lymm), on land that abuts the historically important Bridgewater Canal and between Oughtrington Lane in the West & Burford Lane to the East. The 17ha (43 acre) site was purchased from Cheshire County Council in 1997 and was designed, named and planted with the help of the local community as part to the Woodland Trust's millennium project 'Woods On Your Doorstep'. The name was inspired by the fact that the land was previously used, very successfully, to grow potatoes.
The site has a very slight gradient with a northerly aspect that affords views across Warrington & Greater Manchester towards Winter Hill and the Pennines to the east. With the exception of approximately 900m of boundary hedge, and 20-25 mature trees and herbage located along Helsdale Brook and the site boundary with Burford Lane all the vegetation on site has been introduced as part of the woodland creation project. The woodland blocks comprise of native species of trees and shrubs with local provenance. The meadows have been seeded with a native grass and wildflower mix.
Spud Wood complements and will gain value from its juxtaposition with a number of established habitats and wildlife corridors:
1) Three mature woodlands are linked by the new plantings, the largest of which (Helsdale Wood) is a Site of Biological Importance due to its population of mosses and liverworts.
2) A mature orchard stands to the rear of the old primary school just to the North West of part of the site.
3) One boundary is defined by the Bridgewater Canal for approximately 500m.
4) Helsdale & Lower Helsdale Woods both contain a number of ponds. Helsdale Brook issues from the largest of the pools in Helsdale Wood then crosses Spud Wood northwards towards the Burford Lane canal bridge.
5) There are four Semi-Natural Ancient Woodlands recorded within 3km of Spud Wood.
Photo © Ian Greig