It used to be part of a much larger medieval hunting forest in which the landscape would have been more open like parts of the New Forest. The wood features traditional coppice management of hazel and sweet chestnut.
See a red squirrel
Why not try our red squirrel walk? This 1¼-mile walk takes you through the beautiful ancient woodland of Borthwood Copse, an excellent place to spot red squirrels throughout the year. In spring the woodland floor is carpeted with bluebells. Red squirrels are most active and visible in autumn.
The ancient woodland of Borthwood Copse is home to a number of birds typical of woodlands. Keep your eyes open and you should find goldcrests and woodpeckers as well as more common species.
Across the Isle of Wight, we have many different habitats, from sea to estuary to high downland. There is so much to see and hear.
Come for a walk
We've created a 1¼-mile (2km) self-guided trail around the ancient woodland here, with a good chance of seeing our red squirrels. Elsewhere on the island we offer coastal and inland walks.
Borthwood Copse isn't very large, but it has a maze of paths and lots of interest for you and your dog. No walk is ever the same.
We also have many other places on the Isle of Wight that are ideal for dog walking.
The copse is home to many woodland butterfly species. They include the white admiral, silver-washed fritillary, speckled wood and purple hairstreak.
We offer many different habitats across the Isle of Wight. They suit a wide variety of butterflies, including some less common ones. Here are some of our favourite locations.
Borthwood Copse comes alive with flowers before the leaves of the trees take up the light. Wood anemones and bluebells are especially good here.
Wildflowers abound across the Isle of Wight, and we take special care to manage their habitats. Here are some other locations to try.
If you go down to the woods today
It's not just teddy bears that like a picnic in the woods. Borthwood has a number of open glades with fallen logs, waiting to be enjoyed. Try to spot a squirrel while you eat.
We've other places you might like, too.
look out for carpets of bluebells under the oaks in May
listen for the chirring of wood crickets on the edge of sunny glades
red squirrels are most active and visible in the autumn