Derby - Chaddesden Wood, Oakwood
w/e 17 April 2011
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
years we've visited many local woods in the area but one that
has slipped through the net is Chaddesden Wood. The wood is situated
in an area on the outskirts of Derby that for many years was
known as Chaddesden Common but a modern housing estate that was
built mainly in the 1980s and 90s (although the last new houses
are only about ten years old) has become one of the largest new
private housing estates in Europe. The estate is now called Oakwood
but the developers stopped short of the Chaddesden Wood and created
several entrances to it including the one shown above off Springwood
The wood, the only ancient oak woodland within the city boundary
was designated a nature reserve in 1991 and is maintained by
the Derby City Council. The site of the wood is roughly triangular
in shape which can be seen in an aerial view on a special page
on the council's website (click here to view in a new window). There
are many tracks and paths in the wood which is a favourite place
for dog walkers and we encountered about a dozen or so dogs in
total as we explored the wood.
The main path which we followed in an anti-clockwise direction
is close to the boundaries of the wood which contains many old
trees the majority of which are common oaks. Some of them are
well over 150 years old although the wood has been in existence
since the Middle Ages.
As we turned along the northern boundary of the wood we found
a number of robins flying among the trees and settling from time
to time. After reviewing the image above it looks as though this
one has pretensions of belonging to the peacock family with the
foliage behind resembling tail feathers.
The propensity of robins in this area may be due to the open
aspect of the countryside to the north as the other sides of
the wood face the residential areas of Oakwood. Whether the developers
will eventually encroach into this area only time will tell but
it would be a shame if only for the sake of the wildlife.
But one of the main reasons we had come to Chaddesden Wood was
for the bluebells which are a feature of the wood at this time
of year although with all the other undergrowth they didn't show
up as well as we had hoped.
The good news is that the bluebells are the native variety rather
than the Spanish and hybrid species that are invading our shores.
The English variety have flowers mostly on one side of the stem
that droop at the top whereas the Spanish, among other differences,
have flowers that have almost no scent around an upright stem.
As we neared the end of the circuit a gnarled tree trunk that
had fallen lay at the side of the path like some ferocious beast
guarding the way. I discovered later after returning home that
the path we had followed was in fact a nature trail details of
which can be seen on a leaflet here. The gnarled log is not mentioned
on the leaflet but perhaps if we visit again, we'll be able to
follow the route and see some of the things we missed this time.
October 23 2011 update - Since producing this page Marlon Cole
has contacted me with details of his video of
Walk in the Woods