Britain's best spring walks

By Alison Kirkman
Reviewed: Monday 9 February 2015

Sightings of snowdrops, frogspawn, rooks nesting, butterflies, hazel flowers and celandines have now all been recorded this year. And what better reason to go for a walk in the woods than to see them.
Walking Destinations in the UK

East Midlands


Bow Wood, a Woodland Trust wood

Near: Matlock, Derbyshire Grid ref: SK314563

Size: 10.83 ha (26.76 acres)

OS map sheets:
  • OS Landranger 119
  • Explorer 24
  • Outdoor Leisure 24

Features/facilities: Free car parking at site, good views, spring colour, special wildlife interest, Dogs welcome, ancient woodland - more than 400 years old, benches available, hills/mountains, information on site.

Bow Wood is a good example of the semi-natural oak and birch woodland that once cloaked the area. Set on a sloping site, it faces south and west across the Derwent Valley. At the top of the wood is the Wickey Tor, which offers stunning views towards the north-east across the valley and into the Peak District National Park.

Bow Wood is well used by local people walking the Shining Cliffs complex of paths. Here you will discover large beech and sycamore trees towering above bracken and recent clearing work has prompted the appearance of some young oaks.

Londonthorpe Wood, a Woodland Trust wood

Near: Grantham, Lincolnshire Grid ref: SK943375

Size: 62.51 ha (154.47 acres)

OS map sheets:
  • OS Landranger 130
  • Explorer 247

Features/facilities: free car parking at site, good views, spring colour, grassland, dogs welcome, new woodland - less than 10 years old, other habitats present, benches available, information on site.

Londonthorpe Wood is predominantly a woodland creation site planted in three phases from 1993-95. There is also smaller area of mature wood.

The site lies on the edge of Grantham next to the town's industrial estate, the National Trust 's Belton Park property, the Woodland Trust property and surrounding farmland. The new planting consists of mixed, mostly native, broadleaved species with ash and oak. The site contains many veteran trees – remnants of older parkland planting and the old hedgerows that transect the planting site.

Above the woodland creation site lies Alma Wood on top of the scarp slope, planted in the 1850s in memory of the Crimean War. Although planted, the wood is firmly established and contains the more common ancient woodland plants that have colonised from surrounding hedgerows, such as dogs mercury, cuckoo pint and enchanter's nightshade.

Due to decades of neglect and subsequent old age and storm damage the wood now holds an important and sustainable level of fallen and standing deadwood habitat which is important for invertebrates.

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  • W Davidson

    Posted: Sunday 10 March 2013

    Did you know that some of your readers actually live in a place called WALES?

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