Friends of Coombe Wood

Coombe Wood — Recent Events

This page gives a review of the most recent efforts of the Friends of Coombe Wood to establish the wood north of the stream as a Village Green. The information is mostly taken from the most recent Friends’ Newsletters.

Bluebells and Bramble Pulls — Summer 2019

BluebellsCoombe Wood Village Green has become one of the
 best local bluebell walks. The clear stands of
 bluebells look best where they are unobstructed by
 fallen trees and overgrowing brambles (above).
Some of the best stands have been improved by the
 pulling up of Bramble Pulling brambles during winter, a procedure 
introduced by the late Terry Russell who took on so 
much work to secure the second Village Green 
registration. The picture (right) shows Terry 
Isherwood pulling out the brambles and carrying off
 the piles to a suitable place for rotting down in
another area of the wood. This is one of the 
techniques used by Essex Wildlife Trust to maintain
their beautiful stands of bluebells in Pound Wood. A very good friend, the late Terry Welch helped the
 current Chairman improve one the best bluebell
 areas, marked by John as Bluebell Dell on the maps.

This area has become all but impassable through 
falling trees and much overgrowth of Cherry Laurel,
 a garden escape. It is hoped we can map suitable areas for further bramble pulls and, with hopefully
 younger and fitter supporters, reintroduce this

Fallen Trees – Summer 2019

Fallen TreeAny visitor to Coombe Wood will notice the large 
number of fallen trees. This of course is an entirely 
natural process and allows in light and provides 
habitats for the woodland flora that would be 
competed out if there were no such natural clearings
 at all. But in Coombe Wood, especially in the most
 ancient southernmost part it could be argued that
some tidying up would benefit wildlife as well as
 making the wood more attractive. Fallen trees provide an essential habitat for many insects whose
 larvae become an important food source for birds 
and other woodland dwellers. But the habitat could 
be maintained by the arrangement of the fallen 
timber in places were they could still perform their 
natural role in the woodland ecology and yet permit
us to maintain a more attractive landscape for 
walkers. Some fallen trees have already been moved
 because they were an obstruction to the bridleway 
and main paths. Essex County Council has powers
 to manage the bridleways in this way and have 
asked Friends of Coombe Wood to offer help on 
occasion. Fallen trees can be an obstruction for a 
long time. In Thundersley Glen some of the trees
that came down in the 1987 storm have still not 
rotted away. You will have already seen in the 
introduction that the Friends of Coombe Wood are
 giving their attention to this issue. If there are any 
legally minded folk who would like to advise us
 they are encouraged to become members.

More Fencing Proposed May–June 2016

A recent planning proposal (16/0146/FUL Replace fencing to boundary  | Land West Of Silver Birch Lake Drive Thundersley Benfleet Essex SS7 3EE) included a map of the area that the applicant proposed fencing. Much of this was the area at present fenced by a rather decrepit post and wire fence to the east of the main bridleway and to the north of the newly designated bridleway leading to the pond.This included several designated plots, but Plot 5 on his map extended beyond the bridleway into the designated Village Green. Various members of the Friends wrote raising objections, and the planning officers recommended rejecting that part. Despite this, the Council planning committee approved the application in full. The applicant is reported to have agreed not to fence plot 5, so the Village Green is secured.

Much of the Fence now Removed

The owner of the northermost part of Coombe Wood, adjacent to the Church and the Churchyard, has agreed to the removal much of the fence. This includes the southern fence, dividing his land from the main part of the wood, and the western fence, adjacent to St Peter’s Graveyard.

With the owners agreement, members of the Friends of Coombe Wood have removed the fence panels from the southern part and both the panels and posts from the graveyard boundary.

This now means that the local community can now readily access the wood from the graveyard and the main part of the wood, although the northern fence still remains, restricting access from the north.

There are some photographs of this part of the wood in the Diary section of this site. (The link is in the panel to the left.)

Note that this information will also be incorporated into the Village Green Two page. It is included here so that regular visitors can easily find the most recent information on this. The small flyout when you hover over the Recent link on the Navigation bar (on other pages) at the left gives the most recent date.