Medieval meadow land
Up until around 1800, most of what we know as Walter’s Copse was meadow land. Only the edges are mapped as woodland, and this is where some of our older oak trees can be found today.
In medieval times Newtown was farmed on an open field system so much of Walter’s Copse would have been ploughed with oxen. You can occasionally see the old ridges and furrows in small woodland clearings.
However the clay soils would have been very heavy and difficult to cultivate. Over time the ploughed strips were turned over to grazing. Then meadow flowers began to flourish and even today many of these can still be found in clearings in the wood.
Becoming a copse
During the first half of the 19th century the meadows in Walter’s Copse were no longer grazed, and bushes and trees soon grew up. This change is clearly shown on old Ordnance Survey maps. Open meadows in 1810 became rough meadows by 1840 and then totally tree-covered by 1862. It has remained tree-covered ever since. We have owned the copse since 1970.