Sun. May 22nd, 2022

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

Borthwood Copse to be part of Ancient Canopy

2 min read


Borthwood Copse near Winford has been named as one of 70 ancient woodlands to be dedicated to The Queen to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee.

It is part of a nationwide network of woods and trees which will form part of the ancient canopy to celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years of service.

Borthwood Copse was once part of a much larger medieval hunting forest. It appeared among the lands of William, son of Azor in the Domesday Book, and is associated with ‘Queen’ Isabella de Fortibus, Governor and self-proclaimed Queen of the Island in the 13th-century. Later, Borthwood is mentioned in the diaries of Sir John Oglander, a 17th-century English politician who became Deputy General of the Isle of Wight in 1624.

Robin Lang, National Trust countryside manager for the Island, said: “Borthwood is an exceptional woodland and a wonderful place to spend time in. It’s a relatively small wood, but parts of it are quite dramatic, with ancient, gnarled oaks and majestic beech. It’s full of wildlife too, never more so than in spring when it’s carpeted in native bluebells.

There are beautiful sunny glades, where you might catch a glimpse of a red squirrel, a dragonfly or hear a wood cricket.

“For centuries Borthwood Copse has been a working wood, providing timber for house and boat building. Today the National Trust continues that management by coppicing hazel and the introduced sweet chestnut. The main benefit of this is that it keeps the wood dynamic, letting light and warmth in to allow flowers to grow, insects to flourish and fresh coppice growth to provide breeding birds and small mammals such as dormice and rare bat species with habitats and food sources. The spin-off is that we can supply some of our hedge-laying and fencing materials for conservation work on other places on the Isle of Wight, without transporting these products great distances.”

The Queen’s Green Canopy aims to raise awareness of treasured habitats and the importance of conserving them for future generations.