Bradfield Woods National Nature Reserve
Know before you go
Parking informationFree car park
There are 3 coloured trails of different lengths, just pick up a trail guide under the notice board near to the entrance or at the visitor centre when you arrive.
5 miles of trails - view Trail Map
Disabled toilet available. In drier conditions wheelchairs can be pushed from the car park along several rides and paths within the wood. Parts of this reserve are accessible by mobility scooter.
When to visit
Opening timesReserve open all year, education centre open for events.
Best time to visitMarch to May, July to August, October to November
About the reserve
Bradfield Woods is one of Britain’s finest ancient woodlands and is a glorious haven for wildlife. Bradfield woods is a working wood that is unique as it has been under continuous traditional coppice management since 1252, fulfilling local needs for firewood and hazel products. Coppicing is a traditional method of woodland management where stems are cut at ground level promoting vigorous re-growth. Some Ash coppice stools in Bradifeld Wood are thought to be over 1000 years old.
As the coppice shoots regenerate, their dense bushy growth provides excellent cover for migrant songbirds such as garden warbler, blackcap and willow warbler. Mammals including the stoat, yellow-necked mouse, dormouse and badger are also resident. On sunny summer days the sheltered rides create the prefect habitat for butterflies, of which there are 24 species. Of special note is the white admiral butterfly which can be seen sipping nectar from the flowers on bramble or look up into the top of an oak tree to catch a glimpse of a purple hairstreak.
Bradfield Woods has benefited from a gift in the will of Peter Mitchell.