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     Roughmoor Spinney






The history of the spinney

The uses of ash wood


Roughmoor Spinney in Whilton Village has been open to the public since 2000, and has been developed, maintained and managed by a Spinney Management Group (SMG) comprising volunteers from the Parish.  You are encouraged to visit and enjoy it but also be vigilant of any hazards that may be in the area, particularly following periods of inclement weather when there can be occasions where trees or branches may have fallen and have yet to be cleared away.  If you do notice anything that may be a danger, please report it to the Parish Council clerk by email.
Latest News
Since the last update in March we have had a number of busy work parties keeping the stream flowing, paths clear, and trees reduced, especially around the east side abutting the field. A lot of elder trees and brushwood has been cut up, left as piles, or cut up for our ‘dead hedges’. My thanks to the group of willing volunteers who turn up regularly and really enjoy the social occasion it is.

I hope many of you saw the bluebells when they were there and have enjoyed the bird chatter as spring got underway. It is at present a lot drier and the pond is much clearer. Do take a stroll and see.

So far I have not had a volunteer to take charge of a group to create a longer term development plan for trees, shrubs, flowers, and improving habitats for insects and birds. This is a very creative opportunity for which help and advice would be available from the Small Woods Association and Local Wildlife Trust. Do give it thought and speak to me to discuss it further.

Last time I spoke of possibly extending the walkway across the very wet areas cleared in the removal of the at-risk trees. This was approved by the Parish Council, and sleepers acquired before the rising prices really did reach the sky. This last work party saw 4 men ’good and true’ get them from where they were delivered into the Spinney ( see picture above).  Roy our planner is recovering from the recurrence of an old injury so we are hoping that during the summer under his supervision they can be put in place. At present existing volunteers’ long awaited summer breaks are not making this easy to organize.  We would only need two volunteers at a time under Roy’s supervision . Are there others ‘who could help? If so please let me know.

Finally, the Parish Council is to seek a quotation to tend to the two trees marked low risk in our tree consultant’s report, one needing removal, the other some reduction, again at the pond end. By October our 18 month’s grace will be up. One other tree overhanging one of our fences with a cracking limb will also need removing, as part of the contract.

This may be my last report before leaving the village, but I do hope this important gift to the village will continue to provide recreation, walks, exploration and learning for all age groups. It does need your involvement to be fully utilized, both in suggestions and practical activity to fully flourish. Do offer to help.

Keith Hiscock, Parish Councilor  (email)  (Note:  Keith has now left the village)

(30 May 2022)


Some time ago, about 300 trees were planted across Daventry District.  This is part of the Woodland Trust's Big Climate Fightback initiative - a campaign to get one million people to join the fight against climate change by pledging to plant a tree during National Tree Week.  That week ended on 1st December 2019.

National Tree Week is the UK's largest tree celebration, inspiring communities across the UK to plant thousands of trees every year since 1975.  Marking the start of the tree planting season, the campaign has its roots in the response to the Dutch Elm Disease crisis of the 1960s, which wiped out more than 20 million of our most significant landscape trees.  People came together to "Plant A Tree in ‘73", and every year since, organisations, professionals, schools and our amazing network of volunteer Tree Wardens have planted trees around the country to lay down roots for a tree-filled future.

Whilton Parish Council joined the campaign and received a pack of native trees, namely Crab Apple, Field Maple and Hazel.

Most of these are now in the Spinney and were planted by volunteers and the Pre-School children.


Over autumn 2019, members of the Spinney Management Group working in partnership with the Parish Council were able to organise three work parties, with volunteers from the village too.  The pond was cleared and the overgrowth removed. Trees were pruned, and work began on clearing out the stream with the aim of preventing blockages.  Some work was done on weekdays as well as weekends, according to the times offered by volunteers.  A new raised walkway was professionally installed by a contractor in March 2019 using grants from the Parish Council, Daventry District Council and funds held by the Spinney Management Group, now replaced by the Parish Council.  This makes the whole Spinney more accessible whatever the weather and the viewing platform at the pond gives much better access for observations there.

We would like to thank all who have given their time and energy.