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18th Oct, 2021

Make your Boxing Day sparkle – with a walk in this Worcestershire wood

Imogen Buller 26th Dec, 2017

A WORCESTERSHIRE woodland has been named one of the top places to go for a walk this winter by the Woodland Trust.

Pepper Wood, near Dodford, has made the top ten list compiled by outdoor adventurer Julia Bradbury alongside the Woodland Trust.

The woodland is just a mile from the M5 and the fragment of medieval England is still managed much as it was 500 years ago.

In medieval times Pepper Wood was part of the Forest of Feckenham, and hunted for venison for the royal table.

A community group has been looking after it for the Trust for 33 years, and they still coppice the hazel, oak and birch, as local people have for centuries.

Site manager Jane Ward said: “The volunteer group coppice about half a hectare each year, and the timber is chopped for fencing panels, hedging takes, beanpoles and firewood. They sell their own charcoal, and even do a nice line in wooden reindeer at Christmas.

“The goal is to nurture a healthy habitat. Coppicing is great for nesting birds like blackcaps and chiffchaffs, and allows more light to penetrate the canopy, boosting the 100-plus flowering plants here.

“We get lots of dog-walkers, and the surrounding countryside is patched with woodland.”

TV presenter, avid walker and mum Julia Bradbury added: “Woods are real winter wonderlands –whether it’s a crisp, frosty morning or soggy afternoon, it’s great to fill your lungs with fresh air and embrace the chilly weather.

“If your family has overindulged during the festive season, why not take them for an outdoor adventure; my top Woodland Trust walks are ideal places to burn off those extra mince pies.”

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