Singe Wood Nature Reserve
This wonderful woodland is managed by the Wychwood Forest Trust. It was kindly gifted to the Trust by Barbara and Val Payne, whose late father John wished to make the Wychwood Forest Trust the future custodians of his cherished wood. Though intermittently harvested over the centuries, Singe Wood is the descendent of true ancient Wychwood woodland and is now the largest remaining fragment in the parish of Hailey.
In the 1930s, Singe Wood was managed by a timber merchant and was significantly thinned—today you can see this in the unusual ‘coppice’ regrowth of some oak trees in the wood, which demonstrate about a century of regeneration. It is unlikely, however, that Singe Wood's soils have been disturbed since the 12th century, making today's woodland a valuable ‘building block’ for restoring and expanding more semi-natural habitats in the Wychwood.
The Wychwood Forest Trust have taken a light-touch approach to managing Singe Wood while they learn more about its ecology and residents. Local volunteers and scout groups have helped them maintain the hazel coppice rotation, using the arisings to build cages protecting the newly coppiced stools from deer browsing.