Go Wild Survival’s Old Woodland at Desford was planted in 1999 as part of the National Forest’s ambitious project to reforest 1 million acres in the heart of England.
Old Woodland was planted with a mix of 23,000 broad leaf trees including, ash, silver birch, cherry, oak and various fruit trees. The woodland is home to a variety of bird species including a mating pair of buzzards. There are also squirrels, muntjac, rabbits, ducks and pheasants.
Go Wild Survival have developed the woodland to offer a unique wild camping survival experience. One of our woodland managers will meet you when you arrive to book you in and show you around. There are composting toilets, purpose built fire pits and even a pond for collecting water. There is ample parking space with camping locations just a short walk into the woods, not too far to carry all of your kit with you and close enough to nip back if you need two trips or have forgotten something.
The woodland offers the opportunity to feel secluded and wild but at the same time is near Desford and Ratby with good transport links to Leicester and the nearby motorway networks. Desford is large enough to offer all of the local amenities that you might need including a few shops and a pub.
There are various habitats around the woods. The bug hotels that have been built are piles of thin sticks that have been stacked up. These hotels attract beneficial insects and other creatures into the woodland and add to biodiversity. These bugs are also an important part of the food chain for larger animals.
Dead wood is an increasingly rare habitat as we tidy our gardens, parks and amenity woodlands. It is essential for the larvae of wood-boring beetles, such as the stag beetle. It also supports many fungi, which help break down the woody material. Various beetles, centipedes, spiders and woodlice all lurk beneath the decaying wood and bark.
So, whatever you do, please do not put these on the fire, they are part of a vital rare habitat
This fire area was the first one established in the woods. It was where friends came together the first night to share the magic of being in the wild. The stone circle is located towards the centre of the wood and benefits from the open area called The Triangle which is surrounded by attractive red and yellow dog wood bushes. The Triangle is perfect for building larger pioneering projects or gadgets. It is also used as a meeting place when groups are in the woods.
For those who are really keen, there is a secret about the stone circle. If you look closely at the layout of the stones you may just spot it.
For the keen foragers who visit during the autumn, there are apple and hazel trees which surround the stone circle and give a bounty of free food; you just have to beat the squirrels to them.
Some have said that if fairies, imps or elves lived in the woods this is where they would be. This area is known as The Dell. The Old Well sits at the base of a natural amphitheatre. The amphitheatre is used to gather groups together when they are in. They can easily gather on the gentle slope to hear about old adventures, plan new ones and share great stories.
The Old Well is located at the south of the woods and benefits from the cover of one of the mature old field hedges which is perfect for practising disguising shelters and offers extra protection from the elements.