Wiltshire Publications

Popular wood to close temporarily for improvement works

Clanger and Picket Woods near Westbury are due to close for a short period for essential path and car park improvements.

The work at the Woodland Trust-owned site will look to improve access for visitors and combat wet, waterlogged and muddy paths – and protect nature.

The charity said the work will ensure that the woods can be enjoyed by local people and that sensitive areas are protected.

Georgie Barnard, Woodland Trust contracts manager said, “Paths get very wet and muddy during winter, which can lead to people taking alternative routes, which can affect nesting ground birds.

“Better trackways will not just safeguard the woods’ soil, plant, bird and insect diversity, but it will make this popular and very special ancient wood more accessible to local people, schools and community groups.

“We hope local people will be sympathetic to the closures and recognise the long-term benefits to these woods.”

The closure will be from 20th August and will be for approximately three months.  Clanger and Picket Woods are ancient semi-natural woodlands on the outskirts of Heywood, near Westbury. The woods date back to around the 11th century. They are designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to the varied plants and wildlife.

However the Oxford clay nature of the local soil means that paths become very muddy and slippery during the winter and in wet weather.

The work, which is being overseen by the Woodland Trust, will focus on improving the main track which runs north-east from the car park. Improvements will be made to a loop to the south of this track and also to the track known locally as Green Lane, which separates Clanger Wood from Picket Wood.

Preparatory work had already begun on Thursday 2nd August including some coppicing and felling of trees along the rides, to widen the paths and increase light and airflow into the woods, as well as maintenance of the ditches. There was some path closures, but the majority of the wood remained open.

From the 20th August, the entire woods and car park will be closed to the public, to allow the next phase of work using machinery to lay the stone surfaces on the paths. The closure is essential for the safety of both the contractors and public during the works. It is estimated that it will take three months, dependent on weather and ground conditions, so please see their website for updates.

For more information about Clanger and Picket Woods and the improvement works, visit www.wood landtrust.org.uk/clanger wood