|Folly Hill Wood|
|Managed by:||Folly Hill Trust|
|OS grid reference:||SU 296 956|
|Nearest postcode:||SN7 7AQ|
|Usual work:||Scrub clearance, coppicing, hedgelaying and planting|
Folly Hill Wood is a picturesque woodland sited on Folly Hill, Faringdon on what was once part of the Faringdon Estate. The woodland surrounds Faringdon Folly, a 100ft tower built in 1935 on the site of a medieval castle and Cromwellian battery. The woodland contains a mixture of native and ornamental/exotic trees and shrubs.
Flora and Fauna
Folly Hill Wood contains a mixture of native and ornamental/exotic trees and shrubs, whose stucture is closely linked to the history of the Faringdon Estate. These include Scots pine (planted around 1780) and 19th century sweet chestnut, alongside younger trees such as hazel, beach, sycamore, lime, wild cherry and elder. Standing deadwood and habitat piles at the site provide ideal habitats for a range of invertebrates, amphibians and fungi.
Visitors to the woodland include rabbits, deer, grey squirrels and voles. The trees provide valuable shelter and nesting sites for bats and birds such as the chaffinch, wren, great tit, sparrow, green woodpecker and mistle thrush. Around the edge of the wood a wider range of flora including bluebells, lords and ladies and snowdrops supports invertebrates such as bees, butterflies and moths including the red admiral and peacock butterflies. The rare great green bush cricket, one of the largest species of bush cricket in the UK, has also been recorded at Folly Hill Wood.
Folly Hill Wood
Woodland management is of key importance at Folly Hill Wood to preserve and enhance the woodland and the habitats it provides. Conservation work therefore includes selective pruning and felling of trees, coppicing of scrub, and the planting, hedgelaying and care of young native trees. This will increase the longevity of the woodland and removes potentially dangerous trees/branches from this publicly accessible site, whilst also increasing the biodiversity by allowing greater sunlight to reach the woodland floor. This will allow a greater diversity of woodland flora and fauna to develop and flourish. Habitat piles are created with some of the felled wood to provide extra habitats for invertebrates, amphibians and fungi. The addition of native saplings will enhance the woodland and increase the diversity of habitats provided. Scrub clearance of selected areas of brambles, nettles and long grass also increases the light reaching the ground and therefore benefits flora and the invertebrates that feed on them. To aid this work a tree and habitat survey has been taken, the result of which will be on the Faringdon Folly website.
Leave Oxford heading West on the A420 towards Faringdon. After Littleworth leave the A420 heading right towards Faringdon Market Square, Folly Hill. Turn left soon after passing Sudbury House Hotel. You can park further up this dead end road or in a car park in the town. The footpath to Folly Hill is just off the high pavement on the left, by the railings.