Oakley Wood set for welcome footpath upgrade - The Leamington Observer
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13th Aug, 2022

Oakley Wood set for welcome footpath upgrade

WALKS at Oakley Wood will be more accessible in the future thanks to an upgrade in the main path network.

The woodland, near Bishop’s Tachbrook, is popular with walkers throughout the year but can be muddy at times, particularly in the winter months. A situation that has only been made worse whilst essential woodland management work has been carried out.

But now, thanks to the completion of two main seasons of woodland thinning – involving the clearing of some conifer trees to make way for the return of native broadleaved trees – a 3300-metre stone pathway will be laid to create a large circuit and smaller loop around the wood.

Coun Alan Rhead, Warwick District Council’s spokesperson for climate change, said: “With no large-scale woodland management scheduled for the winter, this is a perfect time to improve the access to all visitors and at the same time help to protect our local wildlife. The new footpaths will help visitors navigate some of the trickier sections during the wetter months and improve the natural woodland habitats by preventing trampling.”

The Director of Nature Reserves at Warwickshire Wildlife, Karl Curtis, added: “Through the management of the woodland to help our wildlife, this has enabled us to create a benefit for the many visitors who visit Oakley Wood. The woodland management is important to ensure our woodlands are resilient and rich in wildlife for generations to come, but we do need to bring people along on that journey and reconnect them with wildlife. By making the site more accessible we hope that the new path will do just that.”

While Elizabeth Sheehan, Chair of the Friends of Oakley Wood, said: “FoOW greatly welcome the news that the footpaths in Oakley Wood are to be upgraded soon. WWT and WDC have cooperated to make this improvement possible. The woodland footpaths have been impacted over a number of years by the necessary clearing of timber. These clearings have been replanted with native British trees, and careful consideration has been given to benefiting and encouraging wildlife and their habitats.

“We can all look forward to the enhancement of our walks in Oakley Wood both safeguarding the environment and the wildlife for future generations.”

The work will start in late June and will continue for around a month. There will be posters up on site to explain the works and some temporary access restrictions will be in place.

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