About Timber Copse & Greatmead Copse

Timber Copse and Greatmead Copse are situated between the villages of Wootton Bridge and Whippingham on the Isle of Wight, UK and have been owned by the Burton family since 1995. They comprise 7.7 Ha of mixed coniferous and deciduous woodland, part of a complex of woodlands in the North East of the Island comprising the Northeastern Woods Isle of Wight Biodiversity Opportunity Area which is also a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC). It is a sheltered site 20 m above sea level, bordered by deciduous woodland and grazing land, with a small stream, Palmers Brook along the Western boundary. Being one of the most southerly parts of the UK the climate is mild, annual maximum temperature 14.5°C, minimum 8.2°C, mean annual precipitation is approximately 700mm (30 year average, Solent MRSC). The soils are fertile, seasonally waterlogged clays and loams the underlying geology Palaeogene clays, silts and sands of the Hamstead Beds and calcareous mudstones of the Bembridge Marls Formation. The site is classified as ancient replanted woodland, defined as continuous woodland cover since at least 1600 AD but with the original native tree cover felled and replaced by planting. The Copses have been owned by the Burton family, Portsmouth, since 1995, purchased from the Forestry Commission. Timber Copse was planted with Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) and Norway Spruce (Picea abies) in 1964 by the Forestry Commission following purchase of the wood from Edward, James and George Matthews, Newport Timber Merchants, in 1958 under the Forestry Act 1945. Greatmead Copse was not replanted and has regenerated naturally, this and regeneration of broadleaves in Timber Copse along the rides and in areas were the conifers have failed indicates the natural woodland type to be Ash-Field Maple woodland specifically, W8 Fraxinus excelsiorAcer campestreMercurialis perennis community. The long-time aim is to restore Timber Copse to the native W8 woodland community.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith