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Having opened in 1991, Beacon Wood is a relatively new country park, but it has rapidly become a firm favourite with locals due to its rolling, varied woodland and interesting history. For over 400 years it was ancient hilly woodland, whose trees supplied timber for various uses. It was the site of a beacon which formed part of the network used to warn of the approaching Spanish Armada during Elizabethan times. After some trees were cleared to make way for an orchard, the site was then used for the manufacture of gunpowder from 1885. In 1935, the excavation of clay for cement manufacture began, resulting in the pitted landscape we see now. Today, the park features a shady picnic area, and a variety of trails running around old clay pits which have almost completely reverted back to a natural state, with a wide mix of flora and fauna. There’s a pond/wetland area with a viewing platform, information point, and views out over the countryside. In all, the park is a charming place for slow walks and for spotting the variety of wildlife found there – and in which the remains of the area’s human history can still be seen.
Easy access information
This park and open space contains uneven trails, un-surfaced or narrow pathways. Also, there are width restricting features, such as stiles and narrow gaps making it difficult for visitors with pushchairs and/or wheelchairs to access some parts of the site.