The Hill Wood

The wood lies between Hawthorn Lane and Banner Lane. This wood has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It is a mixed deciduous and coniferous woodland covering 69.92 acres, with many excellent examples of Norway spruce, European larch and hazel coppice. Lying 400 ft above sea level, it slopes gently to the south.

The wood is noted for its rich flora and fauna which has contributed towards its SSSI designation.

From 1930 Coventry Corporation established the wood as a Nature Reserve and during this time it had a regular forester. Rides were kept clear and the removal of waste was carried out by horse and cart rather than by tractor or lorry. Over the years many natural and man-made changes have taken place.

During the Second World War, large areas of shrub and conifers were cleared to reduce the risk of fire from air-raids.

The uprooting of five acres of mature spruce during a gale in 1947, the clearance of conifers and planting of young trees over several years, have all helped to alter the ecological balance of the reserve.

A point of interest is Keepers Meadow, shown above, having a canopy made of mainly sycamore, oak, spruce, birch, chestnut, ash and pine. This was unplanted land in 1776.

Pig Wood

This name relates to the use of this wood for the grazing of swine. The right to graze swine on fallen acorns and beech mast in woodlands was known as 'pannage' and the Doomsday Book records that there was grazing for 2,000 pigs within the manor of Stoneleigh, which included Canley and Tile Hill.

Pig Wood at 14 acres, is a small, but nonetheless attractive mixed deciduous and coniferous wood with a canopy of pediculate oak, lime, beech, Scots pine, European larch, Norway spruce, holly, whitebeam and aspen. There is also some evidence of more recent planting of oak, hornbeam and a few ash.

The pond to the north of the wood was reinstated in 1996 and a path (430 metres) providing access for people with disabilities was made in 1997.

The area next to Tile Hill Lane was planted between 1887 and 1905 and runs along the old boundary which can be clearly seen, with its deep ditch and high bank. The original gate posts leading into the wood still remain.

Hard access paths

Paths suitable for people with disabilities have been made in Pig Wood (430 metres) and Tile Hill Wood (660 metres). These both have metal tap rails for people with visual impairment and take you into the heart of each wood.

Plants Hill Wood

This wood stands alongside Tile Hill Lane and slopes greatly from north to south with a steeper slope to the west side and lies 423 ft above sea level. It is a mixed wood of 22 acres containing pedunculate oak approximately 160 years of age and a number of sessile oak with some 180 year old beech trees.

Lime, many Scots pine, European larch, Norway spruce and one solitary crack willow (a species that favours moist ground) is located in the west corner where a shallow pool forms in very wet weather when water seeps down the steep slope.

In 1851 seven oaks were sold from Plants Hill Wood (out of a lot of 263) for £1,050. During the war years (1939-45) timber was felled for pit props for mines. A licence was issued by the Ministry of Control for 13,950 cu. of mining timber with larch, spruce and pine being the main species used for mining. The 1945 prices were:- larch 52/- (£6.24) spruce (5.76) per ton. In the great gale of March 1947 several trees were uprooted, later being sold off to timber merchants.

Limbrick Wood

The wood is about 23.24 acres and is south of the Jardine Crescent Shopping Precinct. It is a mixed wood of broadleaves and conifers and the site is more or less level at 122 ft above sea level.

The medieval name for the area was 'Lingbok' and is based on two Celtic Words - 'Lynge' meeting liquid or water and 'bok' meaning brook; therefore Limbrick - the brook with clear water. However, this wood was known as the Great North Waste on the 1776 map of Stoneleigh Estates. It then became known as North Waste in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In the past, land which was neither farmed nor managed as woodland was known as 'waste' which may well have applied to this wood. Its present name appears to have come from the long-since demolished Limbrick Farm which stood on Job's Lane.