Local History Society

 Properties - Pound Copse


Article 'Pound Copse' taken from 'Your Village', 1983:

Pound Copse is a small attractive tract of woodland, some 2.31 acres in extent lying on the west side of Greensward Lane. It is covered by a preservation order and comprises the remnant of a much larger area of woodland cut down to make way for arable cultivation in the 1960’s.

The copse was most generously donated to Arborfield and Newland Parish Council in Jubilee year, 1977, by the Samuel family and was taken over by the Council, following legal conveyance in 1980.

Despite its size it contains a wealth of trees and shrubs mainly indigenous but including the usual foreign introductions such as Spanish Chestnut. The usual selection of trees to be found in mixed deciduous woodland in Southern England is evident including oak, ash, hornbeam, holly, silver birch and wild cherry. Willows are evidence of dampness in the lower parts of the copse and of particular interest are two wild service trees, a species which is becoming rarer and rarer although one of the oldest of British trees, whose berries were used by Romans to make a ‘Home Brew’. The undergrowth is mainly bramble interspersed with shrubs, such as hazel and buckthorn, patches of bluebells and areas where wild honeysuckle grows in profusion.

It is the aim of the Parish Council to open up parts of the woodland to the public, primarily a sinuous footpath running through the wood and providing an alternative route to the existing footpath along the side of the wood. Some thinning of the trees will take place to let more sunlight into large areas of the copse, a proportion of the undergrowth will be cleared out to a certain extent to expand the present seasonal pond. A large number of dead trees will be felled but enough will be left to provide habitat and feeding grounds for woodpeckers, tree creepers and nuthatches. Although it is normally only animals and birds that are in the front of people’s thoughts when considering conservation it must be remembered that dead wood also provides ideal conditions for a variety of insects and fungi. A considerable quantity of undergrowth will be left to provide nesting areas for wrens, robins, whitethroats and other small birds.

This work started by volunteers from the Berkshire Conservation Group in February 1981, but the whole project which will take several years to complete and will require regular annual maintenance.

The copse should provide a lot of pleasure not only for the residents but also to visitors of the village.

(Noel Sudbury was Chairman of the Council at a meeting with the Hon. Mr. Peter Samuel, and suggested the gift of Pound Copse to the village in consideration of the loss of a short bridleway - but not conditional upon the closure.)

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