Trench Wood Nature Reserve
Please read our coronavirus update page for information on keeping yourself and our wildlife safe. Thank you. We have a small car park with limited parking. Please minimise your visiting in order to avoid parking on the road.
Know before you go
Parking informationPlease do not park on the road. We have a small car park off the Sale Green to Dunhampstead road.
Paths are muddy and slippery when wet. Apart from main entrance, access is via kissing gates. Please note that areas of woodland with big mature trees in SE and NW are not part of the reserve and not open to visitors.
When to visit
Opening timesDawn to dusk
Best time to visitAll year round
About the reserve
Roughly two-thirds of this large ancient woodland make up our nature reserve. The woodland is jointly managed with Butterfly Conservation because of its importance for woodland butterflies.
Historically the woodland was managed by coppicing - chopping down trees almost to the ground to encourage regeneration. When done on a cycle this ensures a constant variety of habitats for wildlife. In the 1960s the wood was owned by Harris Brush Company to provide wood for their brush handles. They allowed some native trees to grow but also planted non-native trees in the woodland. We've been gradually clearing the latter and encouraging the growth of native trees and shrubs. Current management of the wood helps to ensure a matrix of habitats that can support migrant warblers and butterflies.
An excellent system of rides and paths provide important open areas for tall herbs, grassland plants and orchids such as greater butterfly orchid, meadow saffron, saw-wort and herb-paris. Visitors should look out for white admiral, white-letter hairstreak and brown hairstreak butterflies as well as the large numbers of moths that have been recorded.
During the spring months visitors should also keep a look out for the nationally rare leaf-rolling weevil, Byctiscus populi. This beetle is only known from ten sites in the UK and relies on young growth of aspen trees.
Forestry work usually takes place during the winter months. Our work is designed to improve the woodland for wildlife and the felled timber helps create income for our conservation work across the county. All Trust woodlands are certified with the UK Woodland Assurance Scheme for their high standards of management.