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Coed Wen

Coed Wen (White Wood)

Coed Wen is an important environmental area located on the southern edge of the town, adjacent to the A530, Whitchurch Road, and lies between the river Weaver and the Brine Baths housing estate.

The area covers approximately 5 acres and was a site where the waste soil was dumped during the construction of the housing estate; it is contained within the river Weaver flood plain and as such is considered a wetland area.

Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council allocated this land for development as a woodland area to improve the environmental impact and to create an important wildlife habitat for the town.

A plan was drawn up, with a woodland walk around the outside and trees in the centre area and in 2004 work commenced on tree planting.

The work was carried out by local volunteer groups, including “Nantwich in Bloom”, “Nantwich Civic Society”, “The Rotary Club”, “Greenspaces” and involved children from the local primary schools. The children were told that “they were planting trees for their Grandchildren to sit under”.

The trees were initially donated by the “Woodland Trust”, and included indigenous species including Oak, Birch, Rowan, Hazel and Hawthorn, these trees were supplied as bare rooted whips and were planted at approximately 2 -3m spacing.

Under the woodland canopy and in the hedgerows Bluebells, Snowdrops, Primroses and Cowslips have been planted with the prospect of these plants naturalising over the coming years.

Wildflower areas have over the years been planted with some success, particularly with annual wildflower mixes that include Cornflowers, Poppies, Corn Marigold, Corn Cockle, Red Campion, Yellow Rattle and of course the “Cheshire Flower”, Lady’s Smock.

In 2013 with the help of students from Reaseheath Agricultural College a “Cheshire Ditch” was installed adjacent to the river at the far end of the site. The ditch has a mixed native hedge along its length which has matured over the years.

Encouraging wildlife has always been an important part of the management of the area, and over the years bird, bat and hedgehog boxes have been installed.

School children have been involved with Coed Wen from the early days not only with helping to plant trees and flowers but also as an ideal location where schools regularly visit to experience and learn about the natural environment, where insects, birds, animals (including the occasional otter) are living alongside the indigenous trees and plants.

 

Future Plans

To involve a wider section of the local community volunteers in the maintenance of Coed Wen to sustain its biodiversity whilst allowing access to green space.

Continue thinning, coppicing and removal and distribution of self-seeded trees to increase range of habitats both within Coed Wen and elsewhere in the local area.

Continue to eradicate Himalayan Balsam and other invasive species, and replant with indigenous species. Plant wildflower areas where practical to attract insects, small mammals and birds. Install bird boxes.