Rook’s Nest Wood
- Free parking (2m height restriction) (reopened after COVID-19 restrictions)
- Meadows and wooded areas
- 1.6km circular walk on surfaced path
- Waymarked link to Barkham Church and footpaths beyond
Where you’ll find it…
Find the free car park on Barkham Ride, Finchampstead, Wokingham, nearest postcode RG40 4EU. Grid reference SU 78875 65814.
What you’ll find there…
Rook’s Nest Wood hosts a rich assembly of wildlife and nature habitats and has a Local Wildlife Site designation for its special fen. Have an eye for botany? Look out for some of the specialist plants, such as lesser spearwort, ragged robin and marsh thistle, that love the boggy patches.
If you notice the streams have an orange tinge, don’t be alarmed, it’s perfectly natural! The colour is caused by iron, leached from local sandstones. The water starts out colourless and clear, but as the iron oxidises it turns increasingly cloudy and orange. Just like a chopped up apple that turns brown when it’s exposed to the air!
With it’s handy car park and network of footpaths, this makes a nice little place to stop off for a walk with the family or the dog. Around 15,000 native trees were planted in 2010/2011, as part of its transformation from farmland to public greenspace, and they’re maturing nicely. This quiet patch has a long history of agricultural grazing which continues to this day on some areas, so dog walkers may find it useful to know that livestock may be grazing.