Join in the fun!
The historic Wychwood Forest Fair is a great day out for all the family and a real celebration of the unique rural heritage of the Wychwood area. There’s plenty to do and see with a fun dog show, children's activities and storyteller, pony rides, rare breeds animals, country crafts and produce stalls. Watch demonstrations of traditional skills like dry stone walling, spoon carving, pole lathing, leather work and willow weaving, or find out how you can get involved with local community and conservation groups.
Of course, no forest fair would be complete without good food and ale, a tea tent, Morris dancing, ferret racing, axe-throwing, falconry and a Saxon camp - there really is something for everyone! Enjoy all of this in one of the Wychwood Forest Trust’s most popular nature reserves, while supporting the essential work we do looking after nature in the Wychwood area of West Oxfordshire. All proceeds go to the WFT’s local habitat restoration projects.
Adults are £10 and children under 14 are free. Tickets from https://www.wychwoodforesttrust.co.uk/forest-fair
Wychwood Forest Fair returns on Sunday 9th July to raise money for new rewilding project in Witney
The annual Wychwood Forest Fair will return to Foxburrow Wood on the outskirts of Witney on Sunday 9th July 2023. A firm favourite in Oxfordshire’s summer calendar, the family-friendly festival of nature and the great outdoors is organised by habitat restoration charity the Wychwood Forest Trust. The fair celebrates Oxfordshire’s rural traditions and natural heritage, and encourages a positive approach to tackling the biodiversity and climate crises.
As well as providing plenty of entertainment, music and good food, the Wychwood Forest Fair showcases traditional rural activities such as dry stone walling, hedge laying, willow weaving and wood carving, while raising funds for the Trust’s latest nature recovery projects.
“We are really proud to be holding the Wychwood Forest Fair at Foxburrow Wood again,” says Neil Clennell, CEO at the Trust. “It was the first land we ever bought, rather fittingly with the funds we had raised from Forest Fairs past. In just a decade, it has been transformed beyond recognition, from inhospitable degraded land to one of our most popular restoration sites where nature positively thrives.
This year, all proceeds from the fair will go towards rewilding our newest nature reserve at Gibbets Close Hill in Witney. Visitors to the fair will be able to learn more about this exciting project and, more importantly, ave a great day out whilst taking in the atmosphere of Foxburrow Wood and seeing for themselves what can be achieved together with a little public support!”
Supporting the rewilding of Gibbets lose Hill
Wychwood Forest Trust’s latest project is the restoration of 50 acres of former livestock farmland in open countryside between Eynsham and Witney in West Oxfordshire, acquired by the Trust through a legacy in 2022. Gibbets Close Hill is an amazing opportunity for the restoration of local biodiversity through natural succession and the recolonisation of lost wildlife by natural processes, or simply ‘rewilding’. The land still has vibrant hedgerows with numerous mature trees, and is very close to some surviving remains of the ancient Wychwood Forest to the east at Eynsham Hall. The Trust, known for its progressive and scientific approach to environmental conservation, plans to allow nature to transform the land and begin a journey back towards a aturally developing forest once again.
The Fair in 2023
Attended by around 3000 people, the fair has grown over the years into a hugely popular summer Sunday day out.
“As always, the Forest Fair will be a celebration of community, countryside and conservation in West Oxfordshire and beyond,“ adds Neil Clennell. “Our own expert volunteer groups will be on hand to demonstrate their traditional skills and knowledge of the specialist Wychwood fauna and flora, and there will also be many other conservation and social interest groups to talk to and learn from. Where else can you learn about local natural history, join a community group and lend your support to campaigns to clean up our rivers, then take a pony ride, throw a few axes and lose your shirt on a ferret race? All in an incredible green space with excellent beer and great food. We’ll see you there!"