Oakley Village

Brown's Wood

Oakley's nature reserve

The wood dates back to about 1750 when it was planted by the Duke of Bedford. The woods were replanted by the Victorians with trees such as larch, poplar, beech and hornbeam. The oldest trees are found alongside the ditch on the northern part of the wood. If you look carefully you will find graffiti carved on some of the older beech trees suggesting that Italian prisoners of war may have worked here at some point.

There has been an ongoing management programme for the woods that has given rise to a special range of plants and animals that make use of the changing conditions. Light open areas support a wide variety of woodland flowers and young trees while darker overgrown parts provide dead wood
for insects and woodpeckers.

In the year 2000, to celebrate the Millennium, Browns Wood was extended by 31 acres with the planting of over 26,000 trees. The main trees are ash, oak, and field maple, with beech and hornbeam at the top of the hill. This area is now providing valuable habitat for a range of woodland birds, butterflies and small mammals.