Brooches Wood, Great Ashby
Great Ashby is located on the northeastern edge of Stevenage.
Parking is available at the community centre off Great Ashby Way, SG1 6NH
Brooches Wood is an area of Ancient Woodland, meaning that there have been trees here for at least 400 years. However, humans have changed what grows here.
The trees you see now are not part of the natural woodland that developed over centuries. Since World War II, a lot of Britain’s ancient woodlands have been cleared and replanted for timber with fast growing trees like the conifers and sycamore that you see here today. Native tree species like hornbeam and oak are being encouraged to grow, with glades of wildflowers in sunny gaps.
Ancient woodland provides a perfect habitat for wildlife, as they have evolved over time side by side. The robins and other birds in your garden are actually just visiting, the woodland is their real home. Look out for the hornbeam “coppards” along the boundary of Cleveland Way. These would have originally been coppiced but later allowed to grow taller and pollarded, cut higher up so the growing shoots are out of reach of animals such as deer.
This Woodland Walk leads you around the Great Ashby Estate, taking in five woodlands managed by North Hertfordshire District Council. Four of the woodlands have their own short route for you to explore.
If you would like to be involved with the management and maintenance of this site, please visit the Countryside Management Service website for further information.