Restoring Woodside Green

Woodside Green lies to the south of Hatfield Forest, next to Wall Wood. It is mainly open pasture, with a few isolated trees, used for grazing cattle in the summer. Over 100 years ago, there were more trees, especially around the margins. We have now secured funding from the People's Postcode Lottery to restore this historic landscape.

A historic parkland

Early maps, from the late nineteenth century, show that Woodside Green used to have a ring of trees around the edge, with more specimen trees within, giving a parkland appearance.

We have ambitious plans to replant this ecologically and historically important parkland habitat with native trees. This will benefit wildlife, including rare bats, birds and insects which rely on the trees that have historically grown amongst the grazed pasture.

People's Postcode Lottery award

This project has been made possible as part of a generous award of £750,000 made to the National Trust by players of the People's Postcode Lottery, awarded in January 2018.

The Woodside Green project

The project will focus on restoring 20 hectares of historic parkland, a post-medieval form of wood pasture which enabled grazing and timber production. We will be planting 120 trees which will include oak, hornbeam, beech and field maple. In time, this will restore an increasingly rare habitat and revitalise one of the largest grazed commons in Essex. 

Of our proportion of the fund, £28,000, the majority will go towards the metal tree guards which will provide vital protection to each sapling from grazing cattle, deer and potential vandalism. The Hatfield Forest team of dedicated Rangers and conservation volunteers will help to raise each sapling by weeding and mulching around them. They will also continue to check the condition of their protective guards, securing the success of each sapling for a bright and vigorous future.

Watch this space

We will be providing more information later in the year on the tree planting.

" Woodside Green is very close to Hatfield Forest, which is internationally significant as one of the finest examples of an almost intact medieval hunting forest and is a National Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest. This important designation is due to the ancient trees and their wealth of dependent wildlife. We can now help to secure their future by restoring habitat nearby at Woodside Green."
- Henry Bexley