Composed principally of ash and oak trees, with an 'understory' of hazel, the wood was first recorded in the Domesday survey of 1086. However, we know that there were settlements around the wood earlier as Saxon and Roman remains have been found.
Shenley Wood is an excellent spot for picnics and is well-provided with a range of seats, tables and benches. In the summer months the meadow area near the car park on the west side of the wood is mown so visitors can enjoy a picnic and relax amongst the wildflowers.
Next to Shenley Wood on its east and south sides, The Parks Trust also maintains a number of ponds and wildlife habitat zones that have been created within the adjoining development area. The ponds are intended to take rain water run-off from the buildings and roads in the development site and to provide habitat for wildlife that had to be re-located from the land before building took place. These new areas provide a valuable addition to the ancient woodland habitat and link Shenley Wood to other green areas.
Just across the V3 Fulmer Street from the wood is Shenley Toot. This small pasture area is a scheduled ancient monument because in 1239 AD it was a moated mott and bailey castle, home to the family of Hugh Earl of Chester. The earthworks that can be seen today are probably the remains of an 18th Century manor's gardens which were also built on the site.
Popular regular events in Shenley Wood include guided walks and an opportunity to hear the dawn chorus. See the events pages of this website for details of any upcoming events.
The wood is a fantastic place to see wildlife. In the spring and early summer there is a riot of colour as the bluebells, celandines and wood anemones flower. During the autumn you can find an amazing array of fungi on the woodland floor. As the plant cover dies back you may also be lucky enough to see wild animals such as fox, muntjac deer, or even badger. And at any time of year the wood abounds with wild birds though they can often be difficult to see in the woodland canopy. The ponds created to the east and south sides of the wood have been established to provide a protected habitat for Great Crested newts.
There is one car park for the site located off Merlewood Drive, just to the east of V2 Tattenhoe Street.
There are no public toilets in the park.
There is a hard surface path around the edge of the wood and a short circular hard surfaced path within it. These provide good access for wheelchairs and buggies although some may find the slope up the northern side of the wood to be a bit steep. The interior tarmac path also has textured paving at each seat to assist the partially sighted visitor. The rest of the paths in the wood are soft surface, generally bark chip or grass. These should be moderately accessible for wheelchairs in dry weather.
The wood is open at all times.
Shenley Wood is located within the square made by V2 Tattenhoe Street, H5 Portway, V3 Fulmer Street, and H6 Childs Way.