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We are a small group of volunteers who assist with conservation work at Northaw Great Wood, Hertfordshire. Established in 2007 by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council’s Landscape & Ecology team, with guidance from Hertfordshire Countryside Management Service and other ‘Friends’ groups in the county, we meet each Friday (plus one Sunday each month) to carry out practical work in the Wood in order to benefit wildlife and visitors as part of the overall Management Plan for the Wood.

Where is Northaw Great Wood?

Northaw Great Wood comprises 121 hectares (300 acres) of woodland and lies West of the village of Cuffley, bounded on the South by The Ridgeway and on the East by Carbone Hill. The main entrance is situated on The Ridgeway, the B157 from Cuffley towards Brookman’s Park. The location of the entrance can be seen here, just beyond the last house on the left when driving away from Cuffley. The entrance is at grid reference  TL282040. The location of the wood is shown here. A view of the whole wood can be seen here (you can also select a bird’s eye view to see the wood in detail!). A map is available here. Full directions on how to reach the wood by car, train, bus and walking can be found here.

What is Northaw Great Wood?

Northaw Great Wood comprises mainly Oak, Birch and Hornbeam, with areas of Ash, Sycamore and Sweet Chestnut along with a variety of flora and fauna. It was declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1953 and as a Country Park in 1968. Northaw Great Wood is managed by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. The Landscape Character Assessment can be found here. The Wood has a complex history. Part ancient woodland, the wood has several times in its history been cleared and replanted, in addition to the regular traditional practices of coppicing and pollarding. While today quite dense, it would have been more open in earlier times: a habitat known as ‘wood pasture common’. Part of the Management Plan is to open up parts of the Wood to allow regeneration of ground vegetation and plants. A copy of the 2015-2020 Management Plan can be found here.

Please join us!

We would be pleased to have others help us with our tasks. You can either contact us in advance to find out more, or just turn up at our regular meetings. It’s good fun and you can keep fit in the fresh air!

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