Native woodland regeneration at Maidenhead Thicket

The Maidenhead Thicket larch plantation was one of many planted in the 1950s as a crop, but it was never harvested. We’re removing it to help make space for native trees to regenerate and improve biodiversity in the area.

What, when, where and how?

Removal of the larch plantation will be carried out by Mendip Forestry from the week beginning with Monday 4 September until Saturday 9 September when we will be holding our native woodland restoration event at the site (11am – 3pm).

This free event will herald the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the history of Maidenhead Thicket, and will include guided walks, species identification workshops and woodland management demonstrations.

Work taking place

There will be machinery at work in the plantation, along our new track and in the Lime Avenue. At this time, please observe any path closures and diversions that we put in place. Extraction of the timber is scheduled to take place throughout September 2017. The following map gives advice regarding path closures and safety.

Details of footpath closures in Maidenhead Thicket during works

Why do we want to regenerate native woodland?

Larch is a non-native tree to Britain planted throughout the UK. As a result, it supports fewer species of British wildlife compared to our native trees, which have evolved over centuries alongside them. Once felled, half the area will be replanted with a mixture of native broadleaves and half managed as a grassy glade, improving the habitat for our precious woodland flora and fauna to thrive.

Maidenhead Thicket - Hugh Mothersole

Butterfly conservation

Over the coming years we will continue to work alongside Butterfly Conservation as part of their project to plant elm trees resistant to Dutch elm disease.

It is hoped that the ongoing ride works coupled with the disease resistant elm and native woodland restoration projects will further encourage the rare White Letter Hairstreak butterfly. Their caterpillars feed on elm trees within Maidenhead Thicket.

White-letter hairstreak butterfly taken by Ian Wilson at Maidenhead Thicket

Protecting the woodland for the future

Larch trees can harbour Phytopthora ramorum, a fungus that can transfer to our native trees. Also known as sudden oak death, the effects of this tree disease can be catastrophic to woodlands, so we’re keen to remove a potential source of it.

Planning your visit

  • Free parking is available at the Henley Road (SU857809), Canon Lane (SU859803), Pinkneys Drive (SU854815), and Stubbings overflow carparks (SU846811).

  • Maidenhead Thicket is half a mile south west of Pinkney’s Drive and 1.5 miles south west of Pinkney’s Green.

  • The nearest railway station is Maidenhead, which is 2 miles east of Maidenhead Thicket.