Millwood, Penrice

Penrice

Millwood is an ancient woodland that was part of the Penrice Estate, at one time. As a result, the woodland hosts many ponds and streams and a large number of tree species including oak, ash, beech and small-leaved lime. The ground cover is interesting and varied with flora such as wild daffodil.

There are also remains of a sixteenth century corn mill, including two large millstones and reconstructed mill pond, which gives the wood its name. Sadly, where there was once three millstones here, there are now only two.

In 1951, Millwood and neighbouring Mead Moor were bought by a firm of Yorkshire timber merchants and, during the following year, the Forestry Commision granted them a licence permitting the selective felling of 'certain mature trees' in the woodland. However, despite all assurances that the felling would not affect the 'external appearance of the wood', the timber merchants destroyed many irreplaceable ancient trees.

Despite the depletion of many trees, Millwood is still an important habitat to birds and mammals. Otters are known to frequent the streams, however their holt has evaded discovery and they perhaps only use the area for feeding. Along the streams, the colourful flash of darting kingfisher may be seen and one of the ponds is home to mallard, moorhen and heron. The Forestry Commision planted European larch, Corsican pine and Sitka spruce to replenish the dwindling trees, but have recently undertaken restoration work to return the woods to indigenous broadleaf species.

There is a car park just before Penrice on the road to Oxwich from the A4118, close to the footpath through the woods.

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