The 12-acre woodland at Woodcote Park is now open, providing an exciting new facility for members to enjoy with their families and friends. A network of new paths joins the Woodland Car Park, Cedars Sports and the Walled Garden, while the Woodland itself has been restored to provide areas to explore, play and rest. Lunch in dappled sunlight at the picnic benches, play games in the children’s zone or see whether you can find all the carved woodland animals.
Take a walk up to the Woodland and explore today! Be sure to watch the video above to get an idea of what is in store.
Background to the Woodland Project
Pathways bathed in dappled sunlight, snaking beneath the spreading canopies of trees brings a new dimension to life at Woodcote Park. Work is now complete to open up 12 acres of woodland with a network of paths to connect the clubhouse, Cedars Sports, the new car park and the Walled Garden, where the new facilities for children and families will open next year.
At the same time the Woodland site is split into zones, each with its own distinct character, to fully deliver its potential as a magical spot for children and adults alike. Pieces of art, whether chainsaw sculptures or woven willow, are used to add a certain ‘wow’ factor to the Woodland, which is also furnished with picnic tables, bins, a ‘bug hotel’ and other features. “We wanted to create a safe and exciting place that people can explore and where children can play,” says Head Gardener Enrico Mailli. “In the biodiversity area there is the chance to get close to nature and learn about it, along with a venue for talks and storytelling. There is a certain element of fun and surprise.”
Enrico and his team were closely involved with the project and are excited by how it has come together. They worked hard uncovering its collection of stately oak, silver birch, lime, horse chestnut, yew, beech and hornbeam trees by removing smothering tangles of sycamore, ash, cherry laurel, rhododendron ponticum and holly, not to mention the ivy that had wrapped its long hairy arms around the tree trunks. “The Woodland includes an arboretum, the outline of which can be seen from the golf course, along with little groves of trees, but nobody could see them properly the way things were”. Enrico explains. “There’s a big difference between a managed and an unmanaged woodland. We have been able to reveal the Woodland’s true beauty.”
Anyone familiar with the grounds at Woodcote Park will know that Enrico and his team are passionate about re-using materials rather than sending horticultural refuse off site, and the work on the Woodland continued this ethos. Felled sycamore and other unwanted saplings were chipped up and used on pathways, while tree trunks were employed for seating, balancing beams and stepping stones and hollowed out to provide tunnels for children to crawl through or climb over. Elsewhere, wood was left in attractive piles or as standing totems to rot naturally and provide a home for beetles and other invertebrates that will slowly assist in breaking them down, releasing valuable nutrients back into the soil as they do so.
The work on the Woodland is the latest in a series of measures to transform Woodcote Park into a truly family-friendly country club. “Since 2014 we have been investing significantly in Woodcote Park,” says the Club’s Chief Operating Officer Daniel Pereira. “We’ve been restoring and updating our facilities and making the most of our heritage, whether that’s our beautiful buildings, grounds or golf courses. This project is the first step in opening up more of the estate to our members and will add significant value to the overall member experience.”