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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
If you go down to the Spinney today you’re sure of a big surprise ...... as the song has it.  The first working party of 5 for the new season was there on 26th August, bathed in sunshine.  The walkways were cleared and most of the stream bed cleared of fallen wood and debris.

Autumn colours were beginning to come in the leaves and grasses.  It was good to see signs of summer joys with new visitor stick-structures and to see evidence of pond dipping.  Most encouraging of all were perhaps green leaves sprouting out of the tops of the transparent jackets of the new trees planted by the pre-school group (see below) donated by the Woodland Trust last year, and to marvel at new growth on the upright willow retainers of our supposedly "dead" hedges.  These were started at our last two winter working parties, in order to mark the route of the path where the ground can be worn away.

As most of you know, the excellent work of the volunteer Spinney Project Group secured, oversaw the clearing, and then maintained this millennium gift to the parish for its first 20 years.  Last year the Group handed it over to the Parish Council, the owners, on behalf of us all.  The Parish Council undertakes monthly risk assessments and organizes work parties through the winter and early spring to ensure we can all safely enjoy it.  If anyone would like to spend a couple of hours helping in a work party (now socially distanced), usually once a month, please contact me at Langton House (843319).

Meanwhile if you, or your children, or grandchildren, have never been to explore or, for younger ones, build camps or bridges over the stream, l urge you to do so.  It is always a must for our grandchildren now mostly teenagers, when they visit, now of course as a trip down memory lane with exercise!

Keith Hiscock

(7 September 2020)


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.