Clayfield Copse and Blackhouse Wood are located on the northern outskirts of Reading, on the Berkshire and Oxfordshire border, and consist of open meadows and native woodland. Some of the woodland is actively managed as hazel coppice whilst the meadows include areas of wild flowers and regenerating woodland. The site was Reading's first local nature reserve and in part is designated as ancient woodland containing service trees, wild pear, bluebells, common orchids, wood anemones, etc..
Approximatly eight hectares in size, the site is the only outcrop of London Clay north of the Thames River in Reading and makes up the southern tip of the Chilterns.
Isolated specimens of cedar and Scots pine date back to the time when the site was part of Caversham Park - the mansion house is now home to the BBC world wide monitoring station. (In the storm of 1990, one of the mature cedars was blown over and shire horses were used to pull out the remains of the once mighty tree so as to minimise disturbance of the woodland floor.)
Working with Reading Borough Council, the Friends of Clayfield Copse endeavour to ensure that the site remains a haven for wildlife for this and future generations.
The Friends of Clayfield Copse are now part of the Econet Conservation Group which is responsible for insurance, tools, etc.
Regular conservation tasks are held at the site as well as events such as Woodlands Day and the annual Fungus Foray.
Conservation tasks held on the first Sunday of the month throughout the year as well as occasional midweek tasks, see the Econet Programme for details. In addition, there are occasionally tasks organised by other groups including Green Gym and the Berkshire Conservation Volunteers (BeC).
For more information call Anne Latto on (0118) 9484454
Woodlands Day 2005
Fungus Foray 2007