A significant number of Woods in our area are classified as Ancient Woodland including Collaton Wood, Membland Wood, Pitts Hill Wood, Newton Wood, Fordhill Plantation, Ferry Wood and Passage Wood.
Ancient woods are areas of woodland that have persisted since 1600. This is when maps started to be reasonably accurate so we can tell that these areas have had tree cover for hundreds of years.
Ancient woods are our richest and most complex terrestrial habitat in the UK and they are home to more threatened species than any other. Centuries of undisturbed soils and accumulated decaying wood have created the perfect place for communities of fungi and invertebrates. Other specialist species of insects, birds and mammals rely on ancient woodlands.
Ancient woods also retain important archaeological features, often from past industry and management, and can also protect large features like earthworks from damage.
The National Trust owns a number of woodland areas around the Villages, in particular Fordhill Plantation, Ferry Wood, Passage Wood and Brakehill Plantation in Noss Mayo.
The River Yealm & District Association (RYDA) manages 3 woods in Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo.
Brookings Down Woods, located between Hannaford Road and Middlecombe Lane, and Eastern Hill Wood between Middlecombe Lane and Stoke Road (both in Noss Mayo) are owned by the Woodland Trust but leased to the RYDA.
Court Woodland in Newton Ferrers was bought by the RYDA in 2019.