Daeda's Wood

Community case studies


Once a nine-acre field of waving corn, Daeda's Wood is now a spread of 3,500 maturing trees; a stretch of path for the less able-bodied to stroll more easily down to the boundary river Swere; a couple of seats; open areas which are a tangle of wild flowers in due season.

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Daeda's Wood – A Millenium Community Wood

Daeda's Wood was the very first in the Woods-on-Your-Doorstep Millennium project sponsored by the Woodland Trust, with financial backing from the Millennium Commission and supporters such as the Cherwell District Council ... and not least the parishioners of Deddington. In order to qualify we had to raise £9000 in a very few weeks.

Deddingtonians - well over 100 of them - turned out with their spades at the tree-planting in near blizzard conditions in November 1996. A few months later, in rather friendlier conditions, we were out there again sowing seeds for the wild flower areas.

The wood's contorted northern boundary is formed by the River Swere. This dictated the riverine nature of the new wood, and thus the trees planted: ash, five species of willow, oak, alder, grey and black poplar, aspen, downy birch, osier, hawthorn, blackthorn and guelder rose. Some of the oak seedlings originated from the ancient oaks in Windsor Great Park. As the river Swere runs along one boundary of the wood BBOWT built an otter holt.

Because this is a developing new habitat, the variety of wild flowers will increase and change as the wood matures. There is already a wide variety of birds attracted to the area. In winter sizeable flocks of visiting fieldfare settle on the surrounding fields or noisily in the mature trees, and tree sparrows and groups of long-tailed tits are often seen. Usually there's a kestrel on the hunt, possibly a great spotted woodpecker. As the trees have matured, there are increasing summer populations of warbler - whitethroat, willow warbler, chiffchaff, blackcap, garden warbler.

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