Bisham Woods

Bisham Woods, a Local Nature Reserve, includes some of the area's finest ancient woodland, with broadleaf species and conifers. It is known for its spring flowers, including bluebells, and for its autumn fungi. There are also archaeological things to see including an old ice house. 

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Bisham Woods are a series of woods between Bisham Abbey and Cookham Dean, including an 83 hectare Site of Special Scientific Interest. The woods have been owned and managed by the Woodland Trust since 1990 and consists of several sections, covering a total of 153 hectares/378 acres.

 

The northern part is the ancient woodland SSSI, with compartments known as Quarry Wood, Fultness Wood, High Wood and Inkydown Wood. With the River Thames just to the north, and views across the Chiltern Hills, they include beechwoods, with rare woodland orchids.

 

The remaining compartments, including Park Wood, High Wood, and Goulding's Wood, Carpenters Wood and Dungrovehill Wood are areas of 19th and 20th century planting noted for bluebells. These are nearer Maidenhead, near the A308 and A404.

 

Quarry Wood is the site of Bisham Quarry, an important medieval source of stone, much of which was used to build Windsor Castle. From medieval times the woods were part of the extensive Bisham Estates of the Earls of Salisbury. An ice house, built in the 1760s to provide ice for Bisham Abbey, is within the woods, and opened to the public four times a year. The Woods are said to have been the original 'Wild Wood' in Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows, which he wrote in the nearby village of Cookham Dean.

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