Hazeley Wood is a young woodland showing a wide variety of plants, mammals, birds and Insects. It covers an area of 10.6 hectares (28 acres) with free public access. It is managed and regularly maintained by The Parks Trust.
Hazeley Wood is situated on the western flank of Milton Keynes, west of Grange Farm. From its origins as a plantation in 1991, it has developed into an established young woodland. There is a small pond at the north-east corner and it has a well established series of natural (unsurfaced) pathways. The paths mainly lead around the edge of the wood with two main cross-paths or rides’ – one through the centre and one diagonally across the southern section. The southern edge connects with the North Bucks Way. The paths in the wood are not suitable for wheelchairs and after rain can be wet and muddy in places.
Hazeley Wood was designed to be a significant landscape feature and to provide habitats for wildlife on the western edge of the original area of Milton Keynes. Young trees of Oak, Silver Birch and Hornbeam were planted on former arable land in Spring 1991, in mixed rows, except where linear areas were left as potential woodland rides. Subsequently a specific management plan has been followed and periodic surveys to monitor the changes in wildlife have been carried out in 1993, 1995, and 2006 by The Parks Trust in collaboration with Milton Keynes Natural History Society (MKNHS). The details given in this series of work are copyright protected and no reproduction of any part is allowed without the express permission of the authors. Requests for information for personal use may be made to the Parks Trust.
What to look for
In many cases below, individual species are not specifically named but only the various groupings which may be found. These are accompanied by an indication of the number of species recorded (in brackets), in the 2006 report.
By 2006 the planted trees, Oak, Silver Birch and Hornbeam had reached between 7 and 9m in height and were joined by Ash, Hazel, Field Maple, Hawthorn and Blackthorn from outside the wood. Over 150 vascular plants (i.e. wild flowers including the trees) have been recorded.
Nearly 20 species of these often overlooked plants have been seen. Two of the commonest are Rough-stalked Feather-moss and Yew-leaved Fork-moss.
In the earlier surveys only 3 species were found to be present but by 2006 the number to be seen had risen to 21, among which were Candle-snuff fungus and Shaggy Ink-cap.
Wood Mice (16 individuals), have been seen in the hedgerows or small shrubby areas but none in the main body of the wood. Additional observations were of Common Shrew (dead), 2 Grey Squirrels and the scent of Fox.
Bat detectors were used to record Common and Soprano Pipistrelles and one Noctule but it was not certain whether or not they were living there.
In 2006, 38 species were recorded and this compares favourably with earlier surveys when the trees were small. Among the newcomers which may be seen are Coal tit, Goldcrest and Siskin.
As a consequence of the increase in habitats and abundance of wild flowers during the seasons, you may see a large variety of Butterflies (25), Moths (113); Hoverflies (23), Dragonflies and Damselflies (12), Crickets and Grasshoppers (6), Ground Beetles (12), Ladybirds (11), Caddisflies (6), Ants (4) and Bumble Bees. Other arthropods which may be seen are Spiders, Woodlice and Millipedes.
Hazeley Wood species glossary
The scientific names of all the species mentioned for Hazeley Wood can be found in order of appearance in this species glossary
How to get there
The main access is from the car park at grid reference SP815368 near the small roundabout at the southern end of Dansteed Way (H4) as it turns into Grange Farm (see OS Explorer, map 192 or Landranger, map 152 or MK City Atlas, map 13). Moving from the car park towards the trees you have the choice of turning left (going south) or right (going north) along the edge of the wood or going directly forward (to the west) across to the far side. The Parks Trust map also gives details of how to get to the wood.
You may also park at the southern end of Portway (H5) in Oakhill (SP 815362) and walk forward to join the North Bucks Way where you then turn right and continue for 0.5 km (600 yards) to meet up with the southern edge of Hazeley Wood.
The nearest public transport
Public transport buses do not go directly to Hazeley Wood. However, the nearest stops are Route 2 and Rote 4A.
Route 2: alight in Grange Farm at Dunthorne Way local centre (Budget supermarket),walk straight ahead towards a car park in Singleton Drive and then turn left into Portway, then right into Tattenhoe Street. At the small roundabout near the secondary school entrance, cross to the footpath leading past some paddocks and after 500 menter the wood near the junction with North Bucks Way.
Route 4A: alight in Dansteed Way near the crematorium, continue south west to Grange Farm roundabout and follow Dansteed Way for 400 m to the site car park on your right.