Hardings Wood History

The big hilltop woodlands of this region were partly cleared in the late 18th century, leaving several smaller woods, including Hardings. It appears on later maps, from the early 19th century, in almost the same shape as it is now. It is not known who Harding was although he appeared to have owned other land in Wigginton village. During the last war the wood was planted with poplar (possibly for the match trade) but by the time the trees had matured, they were not commercially viable. Between the early 1970s and now, most of them have decayed (typically affected with honey fungus) or been felled.

Since 1981 the wood has been lightly managed and open to the public. The trees have grown noticeably, new ground flora and animals are recorded each year and it is now thriving Chiltern woodland. In 2003 the Hardings Wood Trust purchased the wood as a way to conserve it for the foreseeable future.

Warm thanks to Gill Pakenham for allowing us to use her bird photographs and to Steve Povey for the mammals. Other photographs by Francesca Greenoak and others.

Where is Hardings Wood?

From Wigginton: Along the Chesham Road, turn left after the traffic-calming chicane, continue down past the crossroads until you reach the wood entrance in Crawleys Lane.
Click here for a map

How you can help...

If you wish to, you can get involved in any of the following ways:

The Hardings Wood Trust is registered as a Charitable Trust (Registered Charity number 1096325)

Please be aware that Hardings Wood is an ancient wood and that some of the paths are steep. Visitors are advised to have suitable clothing and footwear, and to be aware of all natural hazards—slip, trip, low hanging branches, projecting roots, insects, for example. Take care and enjoy your visit.