A mixed, deciduous, Ancient and Semi-natural woodland covering nine hectares, the woods include oak, ash, wild cherry, silver birch and rowan. The shrub Layer contains hazel, elder, hawthorn and natural regeneration of oak, aspen, birch and ash.

The wood has a variety of ground plants in the spring and summer, including bracken, bramble, willow herb, nipplewort, herb Robert, wood avens, dog-rose, speedwell, cow parsley, common sorrel and stichwort to name but few. The most outstanding feature is the display of Bluebells during May and June in the eastern end of the Wood.

Geology and Soil

The wood is on a level site 84m above sea level lying over boulder clay and sandstone of glacial origin.

Woodland Management

Recent projects have included providing a suitable path to help visitors with disabilities. It is currently managed as hazel coppice with oak standards with a section of woodland being cut every second or third year. It is planned to re-introduce coppicing to the wood and improve the existing system to encourage flora and fauna. Some selective felling and replanting has taken place on the western side of the wood with planting of wild cherry, ash and oak.

The coppice was grown on a 10-15 year rotation and cut on alternate years producing:

  • hedging stakes
  • pea and bean sticks
  • besom brooms
  • broomstick handles
  • thatching spars
  • wattle hurdles
  • wattle and daub plasterwork

At the end of each coppice rotation mature standards are felled, intermediate aged ones thinned, and new ones planted. Timber from standards was used for furniture, building, fencing, gate making, firewood and barrel making. Coppice with standards dates from mediaeval times, and retention of standards for timber was required by law in the 16th Century.


The Council bought the woodland with other land in 1952.

Willenhall comes from the original name 'Wylenhal' and refers to wells and springs which appear in the area.

The wood was formerly in the parish of Holy Trinity and formed part of a donation from Earl Leofric to the Priory of Coventry on foundation of the Benedictine Monastery in 1034.

During the 13th Century, Willenhall Wood and the nearby Little Wood formed part of a district common given to local people and landowners in an agreement between the Abbot of Coombe and Robert Joilin of Binley. At that time boundaries and common rights were defined.

In 1410 the woods were enclosed and the Willenhall family, who were granted a section of the woodland in 1342 by the Priory, retained certain rights under specific leases to graze and work the woodland.

Following the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539, the wood was granted by the Crown to Sir Richard Lee but almost immediately transferred to a John Hales. Various changes of owner followed until the Earl of Craven took ownership in the mid -19th Century.



The Wood contains a network of footpaths providing interesting informal walks taking you past panoramic views across farmland to the south and open countryside from the eastern end.

A 600 metre all-weather path has been created on the east side to help local people, and people with disabilities to gain greater access to the wood.

During the summer months many wildflowers grow along the footpaths, including greater stitchwort, common speedwell, nipplewort, hawkweed and bluebell.

The walk can be extended from the eastern end of the wood across open countryside to the Bogs and Piles Coppice.

As the woodland is on the edge of the city, it contains good wildlife, such as moles, foxes, rabbits, beetles, Muntjac deer, hedgehogs and many birds.

Around the walk a variety of birds can be seen, including chaffinches, robins and several species of tits. Woodpeckers are more often heard than seen.

Dead trees are left where possible by the Council to provide nest sites for woodpeckers. They also contain many insects which birds feed on.


Main bus route

13 or 21 from City Centre to St. James Lane, followed by a short walk down Middle Ride. (National Express West Midlands 024 7652 5689).

Car-parking facilities are also available.

Don't forget the country code:

Enjoy the countryside and respect its life and work.

  1. Guard against all risk of fire.
  2. Fasten all gates.
  3. Keep dogs under control.
  4. Keep to public paths across farmland.
  5. Use gates and stiles to cross fences, hedges and walks.
  6. Leave livestock, crops and machinery alone.
  7. Take your litter home.
  8. Help to keep all water clean.
  9. Protect wildlife, plants and trees.
  10. Take special care on country roads.
  11. Make no unnecessary noise.

Horse riding is not permitted in the woods.