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Chigwell Row Wood Local Nature Reserve

Chigwell Row Wood Local Nature Reserve
Lambourne Road
Chigwell Row


Size: 15.6 Hectares

Owners:  The Chigwell Row Recreation Ground Charity (Reg: 301277 - EFDC are the trustees)

Parish:  Chigwell

Grid Reference: TQ 46302 92981 {phocamaps view=link|id=4|text=View Map}

LNR Declaration: 17 August 2000

Access: There is free open public access over the reserve for pedestrians. There is just the one formal hardened pathway which runs through the wood, the rest are woodland tracks. Car parking is provided on Lodge Close.

Site description: Chigwell Row Wood Local Nature Reserve is a very special place.

As an area of ancient woodland it contains a mosaic of habitats consisting 350 veteran pollards a pond and a small heathland,   To date over 800 species of invertebrates have been recorded including many uncommon flies and beetles that require dead wood habitats provided by the old trees.

The wood is a remnant of Hainault Forest and its history can be traced back well into the 17th century.  For many centuries the trees were 'worked' for fuel giving us the numerous pollards.  In total 366 veteran pollards have been recorded: 75 percent Hornbeam, 20 percent Oak, with the remainder Ash, Holly, Hawthorn and Goat Willow.  This is an extremely high density in such a small wood reflecting the wood’s links with Hainault Forest.  All of these pollards are over 250 years old. 
Hallowing around the pollards to reduce competition, especially to the oaks which prefer standing in more open conditions, is part of the management plan over the next few years.
For pictures and information about the trees go to the favourite trees website.

The heathland area on the Reserve covers an area of about a hectare and forms part of its own Local Wildlife Site (Ep86).  Until very recently this whole area was extremely limited and was suffering badly from encroachment of bramble and invasive Aspen.  Since 2005 restoration of the heath has been an important part of the management plan.  Bramble has been cleared, trees felled and the topsoil scraped.  This has the effect of stirring up the dormant seed bank and reducing the nutrient load within the soil.   Many project days have been spent pulling up encroaching Aspen by the roots.  The site is improving year on year with many heathland species returning.

Management of the Reserve: The majority of the work undertaken on the Reserve is undertaken by Countrycare staff and volunteers with contractors only used for the specialist tree works to the veteran pollards.

{phocadownload view=file|id=1290|text=View the current management plan for Chigwell Row Wood LNR|target=s} 

{phocadownload view=file|id=1252|text=Get involved with the Countrycare Volunteer Group|target=s}

{phocadownload view=file|id=1250|text=Find out more about Local Nature Reserves|target=s}

{phocadownload view=file|id=1251|text=Visit the glossary to explain some of the terms used in the descriptions of the LNR's|target=s}

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