Welsh Wood is a piece of ancient woodland covering 6.5 acres. A pretty stream runs along its eastern edge on its way to join Salary Brook further downstream.
How to get there
By road: 2 miles North east of Colchester. Driving along Parsons Heath turn right into Welshwood Park Road and then right again into Woodlands. Limited roadside parking. Postcode: CO4 3JA. Find on the map.
By cycle: Colchester by bike map
All day, every day.
Facilities and access
History, vegetation and wildlife
The trees are mainly mixed coppice including ash, hazel, sweet chestnut and the uncommon small leaved lime. The small leaved lime was abundant in the Mesolithic era but has declined since due to poor reproduction from seed. It is therefore mainly confined to ancient woodlands such as Welsh Wood.
The majority of the woodland is managed by rotational coppicing. Coppicing is a traditional way of managing trees. Trees are cut down to ground level to create stools. The tree then puts its energy into creating vigorous re-growth. Coppicing creates an ever changing local environment and range of habitats. This increases the number of species a woodland supports.
Welsh wood has a carpet of bluebells in the spring which also includes yellow archangel and wood anemone. Dead wood is often left on site to enhance the habitat. This takes the form of both standing dead trunks for woodpeckers and invertebrates as well as wood habitat piles which are favoured by the Stag beetle larvae. The Stag beetle is the UK's larges beetle, its larvae feeds off dead decaying wood and can take 3 - 5 years before forming into the beetle.
Maintaining access and safety throughout the site.
Rotational coppicing of the woodland and leaving dead wood habitat.
Clearing any obstructions from the stream and keeping the site tidy and free of litter.