the Back Story

Adcombe Wood is combined with nearby Priors Park under conservation reviews, together they are around 103.6 Ha. It is often difficult to isolate which parcel of wood relates to a particular conservation interest which may not be shared by both woods. They are within the Blackdowns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty AONB

In 1985 these woods are designated Site of Special Scientific Interest SSSI. There are four units that relate to this designeation, Adcombe Wood forming Unit 1 and its Condition was considered ‘favourable’. These woods are Ancient Semi NaturalWoodlands, ASNW, which describe these as semi-natural stands on ancient woodland sites. The designation refers to parts being ancient woodland and other parts being planted during the last 150 years on former common land. More research is required as to which parts relate to which current holdings.

Adcombe Wood itself is under three ownerships, the Forestry Commission, the Wooldand Trust and another. The Woodland Trust bought their parcel of Adcombe Wood (incorporating Woodram Copse) of 36.2Ha in ??year?? from the previous owners Forest Investment Management. The woods had been previously managed by Forest and Land Management.

Apparently part of the ancient woodland was over planted with Oak in the early 1900 making it an Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland, (ASNW), about a quarter of the wood is in this category. The remainder is either planted or regenerated. Former open common land now has thick stands of Hawthorn with occasional mature open grown Oak or Ash. Around 1993-4 the paddocks, or lower meadows, were planted with conifers, except under the power line that were kept open.  Conservationists from Wellington removed the conifers over several sessions around 1999.

It appears that there was a significant landslip around 1923 when the ‘Bald Spot’ was formed as was recorded on a picture postcard of the time. It would be good if a copy of that postcard could be shared to verify these facts and prompt other memories.

to be continued