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Wytham Woods

Camilla had applied for Wytham Woods permit last year, but we'd never got around to using it. But on Easter Sunday we went there for a picnic with Jenny and Thomas and the boys.

We went in the northern entrance and did a loop around the middle of the Great Wood, stopping for a picnic early on.

Jenny had a tree identification book, but it was in French so I had trouble using it. And she wasn't having much luck herself. I really need to learn something about British trees, as my Australian knowledge is not terribly useful here!

So I've ordered a basic tree identification guide. I may also reread Rackham's A History of the Countryside, which will be even better when I can go out and see examples of the landscapes he mentions.

After the walk we had drinks in the White Hart and took a quick look at the All Souls church.


Wytham Wood

after the picnic

avenue of trees

six leaves


Thomas tree-climbing

White Hart Inn dovecot

All Saints church, Wytham


  1. The pictures and statement at the top sadden me.... first, you are NOT allowed to 'picnic' in the woods. Also to see what looks like a teenager climbing a tree - beggars belief!!! This is a conservation area, not a playground. Climbing trees and having picnics damage this beautiful unspoilt part of our planet. Suggest you go to alton towers or Thorpe Park in future!!!!

    Comment by Robin Wasteney — April 2011
  2. The permit says no dogs, no picking flowers, no riding (which I assume covers bicycles as well as horses), etc. but doesn't say "no food". This seems in line with nature reserves elsewhere.

    Thomas will be glad to have lost a quarter of a century and become a teenager again! That was apparently the last time he climbed a tree too, so I don't know what came over him here, maybe the smell of the bluebells was too much for him.

    Comment by danny — April 2011
  3. Thank heavens for the world-wide web, a Google search gives me a general idea what Wytam Woods is about.

    What possible damage can four responsible adults, following strict guidelines given, and two young kids under close supervision, do to a nature reserve? I can imagine they did no more than spreading a rug on the ground, enjoy a picnic lunch, admire the beauty of nature, and climb a tree to re-live a moment in childhood. Upon leaving, they left no rubbish behind. Is that enough to give cause for alarm? Is the nature reserve so delicate that any perceived damage done is irreversible?

    Comment by DL — April 2011
  4. Some areas can be extremely fragile, but they're usually indicated as such, if they're not actually fenced off or their location kept secret.

    In Wytham Woods there are some special areas marked with blue-topped poles, which we didn't venture into at all.

    Comment by danny — April 2011
  5. How lovely to see Wytham, possibly one of the most researched woods in the world being enjoyed as well as studied. (and what better place to get to know British trees!) There is no evidence at all that the the behaviour of anyone here was destructive in any way, they are clearly just happy, interested and conscientious people making the most of a beautiful and special place.

    Comment by Anna — February 2014

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