We are the leasehold owners of 4 irreplaceable ancient woodlands in Denham: Northmoor Hill Local Nature Reserve, Wyatts Covert, Great Caps and Little Caps. These woods are managed for the benefit of local people and wildlife to ensure they have a sustainable long term future as part of the landscape of the Colne Valley Regional Park.
We have produced a management plan for the woods which has been approved by the Forestry Commission. This plan has environmental, economic and social objectives:
- Environmental: Maintain as mixed native species high forest. Improve woodland biodiversity.
- Economic: Take opportunities to generate income that can contribute towards costs of management
- Social: Maintain safe public access. Provide volunteering opportunities and engage people with woodland management.
Northmoor Hill Wood
These irreplaceable ancient woodlands have a long history and are possibly a relict of the natural vegetation from the end of the last ice age. Northmoor Hill Wood and Wyatts Covert are first recorded on a 1590’s map as part of ‘Wyat Wood’. The boundary of the wood has stayed roughly the same although there have been some losses e.g. where Wyatts Covert residential park and Caravan Club now stand. The first reference to Caps Wood is in the 1377 Denham Manor Court Roll as “a grove called Cappes”. The wood is present on the 1590’s map labelled as ‘Great Capes’ and is broadly the same shape as today. This map and other historic maps show a track running around the west and north connecting Amersham Road to Broken Gate Lane, this is thought to have been one of the alternative routes used on the London to Oxford coaching route when Red Hill became too rutted and impassable (the other alternative route was along Blacksmiths Lane). During the C20th the fields bordering the east and south sides of the wood were gradually replaced by houses and other buildings, however the major change was the construction of the A413 in the 1970’s that cut the wood in two. As a nod to history we refer to the larger area near Broken Gate Lane as ‘Great Caps’ and the area near Amersham Road as ‘Little Caps’.
Bluebells in Caps Woods
If you would like to help support our woodland management work please join the friends of the Colne Valley.
Alternatively there is a Monthly volunteering task organised here that you might be interested in, if you’re interested in volunteering here or at another location see here for more information.
We are grateful for local residents and visitors acting as our ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground, please report any issues or wildlife sightings to us here: contact us.
Want to visit Denham Woods? Download our Denham Woodland Circular Walk here