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Great Wood and Mutton Corner

Great Wood and Mutton Corner


Size: 8.85 ha

Grid Reference: TQ 48380 96307 {phocamaps view=link|id=39|text=Map}

Local Wildlife Site Reference Number: Ep106

Owners: Essex Couny Council

Access: Open public access within the wood which is accessed via public footpaths from Lambourne Church and Patch Park.

Site Description: Great Wood and Mutton Corner (Ep106) are, in fact, joined and form the largest block of woodland on the former Lambourne Hall Estate.

A small stream runs through both woods leaving a strip of hornbeam coppice on the north-western edge. The rest to the south (all in Great Wood) contains common oak and ash standards over hornbeam and hazel coppice. There are a number of ancient woodland indicator plants recorded in the wood giving clues to its biological richness and age. Banks and ditch earthworks mark the boundary of the wood although this varies greatly in character. For example, the ditch on the eastern side is massive whereas those on the southern edge are shallow and topped with hawthorn. An old ride system still exists within Great Wood.

Like the other woods in the area, a lack of recent management means the ground flora has been shaded out by the canopy, but dog’s mercury and bluebells still dominate in spring. There are areas of dense bramble. Where the canopy is less dense along the rides more herb rich species can still be found such as wood sorrel and violets.

Great Wood also has several ponds which add to the mosaic of habitats.

In 2010 Countrycare installed a bridge over the stream to aid access to the north eastern corner of the site. In 2011 steps were installed to protect the ancient bank boundary marker from erosion.

Essex County Council are currently compiling a management plan for Great Wood and have already begun to trial a coppice rotation on some of the ancient hornbeam coppices.


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