26th February 2020

Arnold’s Wood gifted to Town

We are pleased to announce that a delightful woodland area has been gifted to Bradford on Avon Town Council to safeguard its future and to help protect the local landscape.

The woodland, known as Arnold’s Wood, was named by the family of Les Arnold who died in 1992.  Comprising of just under 1 acre, it was established with a Landscape Conservation Trust grant when the original apple orchard was destroyed in the storm of 1987. It was then planted with over 400 native British trees and shrubs, plus some Norway Maple in recognition of the Arnold’s time living in Canada.

Since then, the site has been managed and nurtured by Sandra Arnold with the help of family and friends; providing a wonderful tribute to Mr Arnold as well as an important habitat for wildlife.

With the wood an integral feature in the family’s life, in 2002 the Arnold’s son and his wife celebrated their wedding in the central clearing with a small ceremony in Japanese, and as recently as Christmas 2019, family and friends planted 50 more trees to start a new hedgerow which will develop to improve shelter for small birds and animals, as well as protecting the secluded woodland habitat.

“The wood was designed to have a grassy corridor from the entrance to a central clearing and then a loop of path to provide a circular walkway through the trees. All this is lined with hazels which have been coppiced every 2 or 3 years by the Richmond Trust to use in the making of hurdles together with the willow they grow beside the river in Bradford.” Sandra said.

Recently, Mrs Arnold kindly met with our Green Spaces Officer, Chris Hogg, at the woodland, (pictured), where she explained how the site had developed through the years. Chris said:

“This young woodland is a beautiful space, with clever planting resulting in it already feeling like an established, natural place.  We will survey the flora as it grows this year and manage the site in a light-touch manner. Small sites such as these are very important for local wildlife and with plenty of plants, shrubs and trees providing food, Arnold’s Wood could benefit rare animals like hedgehogs and hopefully even the threatened hazel dormouse.

The Arnolds have provided an excellent demonstration of how a small area of land or garden can benefit nature, particularly where sites link to create ‘green corridors’ through the landscape for wildlife such as insects and bats.”

The site’s location makes it less accessible to the public than some green spaces, although in terms of wildlife, this can be helpful in order to protect it. We will bring you further news of the woodland as the year progresses.

Upon gifting the wood to the Town Council, Sandra Arnold remarked:

“I was delighted to meet with such enthusiasm from the Town Council when I first approached them and again when I met with their officers recently.  Bradford was my home for over 20 years and I am very happy that the woodland will be managed and monitored to provide a wildlife habitat and valuable resource for local people. I hope to be visiting for a few more years, but I’m glad to hand over the management to the new team and eager volunteers.”

If you have an area of land that you would like protected for the future, get in touch with the Town Council to find out more about transferring ownership to our Parish.

Photos by Lydia Booth Photography excluding photos of Les Arnold and grandchildren which were kindly provided by Sandra Arnold.