About Common Wood

Common Wood was purchased by the Penn and Tylers Green Residents Society in 2002 following an extensive public campaign.

Common Wood is a semi-natural Ancient Woodland dating back well over 1,000 years as part of a 4000 acre common heath. With support from the Woodland Trust, the Chiltern Society and the Lottery Heritage Fund, the Society has been able to safeguard the wood for the benefit of the local community. It is committed to providing open access to all, and has set about an extensive management programme of both the natural habitat and the access throughout the wood.

The mainly beech woodland (with some Douglas fir avenues) which we see today was replanted by the Penn House Estate when the wood was awarded to Earl Howe by the Inclosure Award in 1855. Over the years, the beech has been felled, either by clear felling whole areas, or by selective felling to preserve a continuous canopy. This, combined with a rich variety of soil types, has resulted in an interesting mix of flora within the wood.

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Management

An on-going programme of works

The current woodland management plan was produced with help from the Chiltern Woodlands Project. It was approved by the Forestry Commission in 2012 and runs to April 2022. This plan and woodland grant contract has given felling approval to thin out young plantations and poorer trees. The wood is a varied mosaic of tree ages and structure and has some of the best young regeneration of beech in the Chilterns.

The Residents Society has invested a significant amount since purchasing the wood to provide a network of all weather paths so that it can be enjoyed in all weathers and by those with limited mobility. A permit scheme exists for horse rides and the wood is popular with dog walkers, joggers etc.

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Position

Common Wood survives as a large fragment of ancient and semi-natural woodland

Common Wood forms part of a chain of woods lying to the north east of High Wycombe, including Penn Wood and Kings Wood. Covering over 250 acres it contains a range of special habitats and many of the uncommon species found in ancient woods. Common Wood, together with its neighbour Penn Wood, represents one of the largest areas of Ancient Woodland remaining in the Chilterns.

As such it is to be valued as a rare and valuable habitat. A large part of the woodland is on the plateau while the area to the north east of the main chalk track drops down into the valley. The wood also slopes down to the Penn Bottom road on its southern boundary The lowest point is about 125 metres above sea level and the highest areas are around 170 metres.

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Ecology

Common Wood contains more than 330 species of flora and fauna with a mixture of plantations providing a haven for wildlife.

Location

Common Wood is located in Penn, Bucks - close to High Wycombe and Beaconsfield and easily accessible from J2 or 3 of the M40.

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About the Residents Society

The Penn & Tylers Green Residents Society (P&TGRS) was formed in the spring of 2003 from a merger of the former Penn & Tylers Green Residents Association and Penn & Tylers Green Society, both of which dated back to the 1960s. It is a body represented entirely by local people and exists to better the quality of life for all the residents of the two Chiltern villages of Penn and Tylers Green.

The Society converted to a Charitable Company during the course of 2003 and it is run by a group of up to 15 Trustees who are Directors of the Company. The Society's objectives are to promote any charitable purpose for the benefit of the inhabitants of the two villages. Among these are : to advance education; to provided facilities in the interest of social welfare for recreation and other leisure -time occupation, with the object of improving the conditions of life for the said inhabitants; to promote high standards of planning and architecture in or affecting Penn and Tylers Green; to educate and stimulate discussion on matters relating to the history, architecture, natural history and geography of the area; to secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of historic, architectural, or public interest in the area; to secure protection, conservation and enhancement of the wildlife and countryside in or affecting the two villages.