Gower Reserves
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Berry Wood
SS 474 884
Area 6.8ha

Ancient oak-dominated woodland with abundant ferns, bryophytes and lichens.

Warden  Vacant

500 m southeast of Knelston, Gower. Access can be obtained by following the public footpath, starting opposite the entrance to Stouthall, south for 1.7 km, or from the track which runs north from Berry Farm (keeping to the right of the farmhouse). A public footpath passes through the woodland. There are no car parking facilities close to the reserve.


Berry Wood is an example of an ancient Oak dominated coppice-with-standards woodland, rare in this part of the Gower, situated on poorly drained glacial drift over Millstone Grit. Both Pedunculate and Sessile Oak are present with Birch, Ash, Hazel, Grey Willow, Rowan and Aspen. The oldest Oaks (up to 200 years in age) are to be found on the western side of the reserve. The remainder of the wood is much younger and is made up of even-aged stands of Oak, Birch and Ash. This suggests that much of the wood may have been clear felled at some stage and allowed to regenerate naturally, although there is some evidence that Oaks were planted in the northwestern corner.

The southwestern corner of the wood is open and grassy, due to past incursions by cattle. Towards the centre of the wood and in the northwest the ground is very poorly drained. The remainder of the field layer of the reserve is covered in dense Bramble, with patches of Bracken. Hazel coppice, Hawthorn, Crab Apple and Holly make up the shrub layer, with Honeysuckle and Ivy. Narrow Buckler-fern, Wood Millet and Opposite-leaved Golden-saxifrage are amongst the less common plants found. There is an abundance of epiphytes on the Oak and Willows, with Bryophytes, Ferns and Lichens all well represented.


The native Dormouse is recorded as having inhabited the wood in the past, but has not been detected since 1969. Wood mouse, Bank Vole, Grey Squirrel, Fox and Rabbit have all been recorded on the reserve, together with Buzzard, Goldcrest, Willow Warbler and Blackcap. Mixed Finch flocks occur in winter.

Good times to visit

April-July for woodland flowers and birds

September-October for fungi





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