Welcome to Hodgemoor Woods

Hodgemoor Wood is a 250-acre woodland in South Bucks. Located between the historic town and villages of Amersham, Chalfont St. Giles and Seer Green, Hodgemoor is a natural heritage area, designated by Natural England as a “Site of Special Scientific Interest” (SSSI). It is owned by Bucks County Council but administered for them by The Forestry Commission. The wood is only 40 minutes from Central London, making it a popular destination for walkers, cyclists and horseriders who can appreciate a wide variety of trees (oaks, birches, beeches, hornbeam), its outstanding bluebells, foxgloves and other flora and fauna.

Hodgemoor Conservation

The Spring Link in 1999.

Hodgemoor has a large network of footpaths and riding trails maintained by the Hodgemoor Riding Association, i.e. by the horse-riders themselves, on behalf of and in coordination with, The Forestry Commission.

The contract between the two organisations gives riding members of the Association the right to use the trails but gives them also the obligation to maintain the trails; this arrangement has been held up elsewhere in the UK by authorities, the Forestry Commission, the British Horse Society and other riding groups as a model of useful private-public cooperation.

The Spring Link under construction in 2005. The backbone of the trail has been laid, then hoggin goes over the top.

Since 1999, the Hodgemoor Riding Association has raised over £100,000 to renovate the riding trails, improving access for all users. These works realized the installation of a new bridleway and four new permissive trails, generating 3,000 metres of new track.

The two pictures here to the right show the same place, the Spring Link, before and after our work. The main objective of all renovation has been to keep horses on their allocated paths and to free the wood from extensive areas of mud in winter.

Membership is compulsory for horseriders (minimum £20 per annum). Walkers and cyclists are encouraged to join too for as little as £5 per year. Every penny goes to creating and renovating the trails, and conserving the wood. Besides subscriptions, funds are raised through events such as the popular TREC (involving obstacles and orienteering), cross country jumping, and Dog Agility competitions.

ready for actionhorse carefully down slopejumping with dog

Awards

Members also volunteer to do some maintenance work. Our efforts have not gone unrecognised; here are some of the awards we have won:

The Brett Environmental Trust 2002 Award for Improving Public Access to Hodgemoor Woods

The British Horse Society Access Award 2004 for the BHS member who has done most for equestrian access

The Forestry Commission’s East England Forest District Group Volunteer Award 2016.

Here are a dozen of us in late November 2014, digging out mud from two sections of Susie’s Loop to create drainage channels. We hope you’ll decide to join us and become one of Hodgemoor Woods’ growing membership and conservation champions.

We have a strong following on Facebook with 500 people following us and several thousand people seeing our public service posts when shared. Click here.

Motorised vehicles are prohibited

Neither motorcycles nor any other powered vehicles are permitted in the wood. Motorcycles detrimental to the natural environment and are particularly dangerous to horseriders. In recent times, several riders have fallen off (some with resulting injuries). So whether you are a horserider, cyclist or walker, if you see any motorized vehicles in use…

Please report the presence of motorised vehicles at once:

  • Phone the police – 101 – or
  • Phone the Volunteer Forest Warden, Marcus Bicknell on 07748 111444.

The police come very promptly but it assists them in taking action if you are able…

  1. to take photos of the offenders, and
  2. to note registration numbers or other details

Thank you for your help.

www.hodgemoor.org.uk

Susie Bicknell, Secretary, Hodgemoor Riding Association
E-mail: info@hodgemoor.org.uk
Homefarm Orchard, Kirby Close, Threehouseholds, Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks HP8 4F

You can also contact The Forestry Commission at their Aston Clinton office under Wendover Woods on 01296 625825

Web authoring by Garreth Mills