Lower Woods Nature Reserve is a large ancient 700 acre woodland between Wickwar and Hawkesbury Upton off Inglestone Common. It’s the perfect place to explore with your dog, whilst they splash around in the stream, run through the trees and find sticks. Lower Woods comprises 23 separate woods whose boundaries have remained unchanged for several centuries. If you’re looking for a bluebell walk in summer, Lower Woods is the place to explore, with a carpet of blue covering the forest floor.
There are three way-marked walks from the car park around the northern half of the wood, as well as plenty of paths throughout the rest of the wood and multiple entry options on foot. Lower Woods can be very wet at certain times of year and there are a few inclines. Paths closer to the car park are flatter.
In the autumn on the meadows near the car park are dairy cows, typically Friesians and Fleckviehs.
There are no clear signs to get to the woodland (strange as it’s so popular!) and it can be quite tricky to find. The following info is from The Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust website:
The rough track into the woods is not owned by GWT and is in very poor repair with large potholes, please go dead slow or contact us about lift sharing. This site and subject is so fantastic we hope you will forgive the unavoidable difficulties with access due to the unspoiled nature of the area.
From M5 J14 via Wickwar
1. Head south-east on B4509 towards Tortworth and Charfield – 1.9 mi
2. At the roundabout turn right onto B4058 – 0.4 mi
3. Take the first left onto B4509 and The Downs to Wickwar – 2 mi
4. At the traffic lights turn left onto Station Road 0.2 miles
5. Take right onto narrow Chase Lane, signed to Inglestone Common and Hawkesbury 1.7 miles
6. On Inglestone Common look for where two tracks form a crossroads with the road at Inglestone Farm and take the track opposite into Lower Woods 0.5 miles. Dead slow!
From A46 / Hawkesbury
6. Just south of the A46/A433 Dunkirk junction turn west signed to Hawksbury Upton and Hillesley.
7. Go through Hawkesbury Upton staying on France Ln / Sandpits Ln / High St – 1.6 miles
8. As you leave the village look for a very tall Monument ahead.
9. After Hawkesbury there is a slight left bend, the monument is on the right go down the single track lane on the left, opposite the monument – 0.6 mi
10. At the junction with the phone box, keep right over the cattle grid – 1.0 mi
11. On Inglestone Common look for where two tracks form a crossroads with the road at Inglestone Farm and take the track opposite into Lower Woods 0.5 miles. Dead slow!
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