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Thornwood Common Nature Area


Size: 0.24ha   
Grid Reference: TL 47183 04822    {phocamaps view=link|id=49|text=Map}

Parish:  North Weald Bassett 
Owners:  The land is owned by North Weald Parish Council and managed in partnership with Epping Forest District Council

Access: The site has open access via a kissing gate from the adjacent recreation ground.

Site Description: The site is connected to Thornwood Allotments and Village Hall on the north side and bounded by Thornwood Common recreation ground on the west side. It is an important link in a chain of wildlife sites to the north of Epping Forest in an area of managed amenity land.

There are two distinct halves to the site; firstly an area of unimproved grassland, which was originally set aside for use as allotments, but became redundant, it has been left to establish itself naturally. The result of this is that there are areas of semi-natural grassland species with encroaching scrub around the edges. It was the discovery of bee orchids in 1995 that brought up the idea of the site being managed sensitively.

The second half is an area of secondary woodland with mature trees both broadleaved and ornamental, also with thorn bushes and open glades with wildflowers.

There is a circular path through the small site and a bench for quiet relaxation. 

Rabbit grazing has been instrumental in maintaining the wildflower interest by keeping the turf grazed short but the unpalatable thistles and woody saplings are unable to be controlled by rabbit grazing alone. The Countrycare team has been carrying out grass and bramble cutting on an annual basis to help keep the grassland open.


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