Shipton Gorge Parish Council

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Saunders Richardson Wood

The Woodland Trust have owned this wood since 1985 woodland_trustwhen it was bequeathed to them under the terms of the will of Mrs N Richardson of Bridport, who had once been a resident of Shipton Gorge.woodland_trust

The Woodland Trust became owners of the land when Charles Errington of Smacombe Farm, which is opposite the wood on Smacombe Lane, had wanted to purchase the land from Nicky Richardson in order to preserve it as a woodland for perpetuity. She wanted to make sure that it would never be developed and to ensure its future as an open space in the parish. He then suggested that the best option was for her to bequeath it to the Woodland Trust and that is how it came to now be in their ownership.

The wood consists of 2.72 acres of land bordering Smacombe Lane and the eastern edge of the village, grid reference SY499916.

The land has high banks on all sides and there is a small stream that runs through the centre. This unspoilt wood is home to a range of wild life including foxes, badgers, deer and small mammals. The trees are mainly broadleaved woodlands varieties and these are maintained when necessary by volunteers from the Trust.

Following the violent swoodland_trust2torm of 1985 a number of the larger trees on the western boundary were blown down and have remained in situ to become covered with moss and provide a haven for smaller wildlife and birds.

The floor of the wood is particularly attractive in the Springtime when it is carpeted by primroses and bluebells. The village is extremely fortunate to have such a sanctuary so near the centre of the village and one that will remain as such for future generations.

Despite there being a "Welcome"  sign on the two gates into the wood from Smacombe Lane, the Woodland Trust do not officially allow public access to the land for reasons of conservation and safety.