The Ancient Woodland

The ancient woodland of Whitewebbs Park is one of Enfield’s most precious possessions. It consists mainly of Oak and Hornbeam with Holly. Visitors will know that there are many other tree species as well – Horse Chestnut, Ash, Beech, Silver Birch for example. Birdlife, small mammals, bats, woodland shrubs and flowers abound.

Shortly after the Urban District Council took over Whitewebbs it commissioned a report on the state of the woodlands from W J Bean formerly the curator of Kew Gardens.

When Sandra Tyler was researching at the London Metropolitan archives she found W J Bean’s hand written report. A transcript of the report can be found below as can the letter of authorisation and a picture of the last page of the hand written report. Does anyone have any knowledge of Mr Handy who is referred to in glowing terms in the report?

Last page of the report

Concern about environmental protection is not new.

The only full bridleways are the North South sections. These have full rights of way protection.

In the 1930s it was proposed that the bridleways be extended to connect the two existing bridleways and add a loop through the ancient woodland. This provided for 4 Kms of uninterrupted riding in Whitewebbs.

The following letter was received from the London Natural History Society in 1937

Objection to the Bridleway extension