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Savernake Forest, Marlborough

4.3
#3 of 9 in Nature in Wiltshire
Forest · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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Savernake Forest stands on a Cretaceous chalk plateau between Marlborough and Great Bedwyn in Wiltshire, England. Its area is approximately 4500acre.Most of the forest lies within the civil parish of Savernake. It is privately owned by the Marquess of Ailesbury and his family, and is administered by trustees. Since 1939 the timber of the forest has been managed by the Forestry Commission on a 999-year lease. The private status of Savernake, Britain's only privately owned forest, is maintained by shutting the forest to the public one day per year.GeographySavernake's landform is rolling downland, dissected by both dry and wet valleys. The valleys within the forest, of which there are four, are all dry, and the presence of Cretaceous deposits of Clay-with-Flints creates the damp, heavy soils suited to dense cover of oak and beech. There are patches of poor drainage and wet soil.A short history of the forest and its wardensFirst mention of a woodland "Safernoc" was made in AD 934 in the written records of the King Athelstan, but the land passed into Norman ownership soon after the Norman invasion of 1066.The royal forest established in the 12th century covered an area of some 150sqmi; it extended to the villages of East Kennett, Inkpen and the Collingbournes (west, east and south) while the River Kennet formed its northern limit. Savernake Forest was not continuously wooded: Royal forests were a mixture of woodland, copses, common land and rough pasture.
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Savernake Forest reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
164 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Lovely forest,close to Marlborough.Clean facilities.Friendly and helpful warden on arrival.Walk back from town a little steep ! Forest walks charming and interesting.Watch for boggy grass and acorns....  more
    Lovely forest,close to Marlborough.Clean facilities.Friendly and helpful warden on arrival.Walk back from town a little steep ! Forest walks charming and interesting.Watch for boggy grass and acorns....  more »
  • Was shocked to find the Forestry Commission is deliberately blocking access by felling trees across paths. We had to clamber over fallen trees a few times. Even had to climb over a fence erected... 
    Was shocked to find the Forestry Commission is deliberately blocking access by felling trees across paths. We had to clamber over fallen trees a few times. Even had to climb over a fence erected...  more »
Google
  • One of the most beautiful woodlands you could imagine. Wonderful walks and fabulous trees in open woodland with easy broad paths as well as more winding footpaths that take you into all the nooks and crannies of this magical place. Home also to some of Englands oldest trees including the Cathedral Oak which is at least 1,000 years old
  • Beautiful and refreshing place to go when you need to get away from life for a bit makes you realise what is around us and how beautiful it really is ☺️

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