Many of Britain’s surviving fragments of ancient woodland are in Middlesex. Essex has nine uninterrupted square miles of Epping Forest; by contrast the forest of Middlesex survives in pieces: just over one square mile of Ruislip Woods, Scratch Wood (which gave its name to the service station beside the M1 at Mill Hill that’s now called London Gateway), then a scattering of fragments that come surprisingly far in to London: the woodland at Horsenden Hill between Sudbury, Greenford and Perivale and nearby Perivale Wood, with its annual carpet of bluebells, Fox Wood near Hanger Lane, Coldfall Wood,  north of Muswell Hill, the two little pockets near Hampstead Garden Suburb called just Big Wood and Little Wood, a strip running east-west from East Finchley now known as Bluebell Wood (a misnomer), Highgate Wood and Queens Wood (originally called Churchyard Bottom Wood), and closest in, the five hectare fragment of Kenwood called North Wood.

2 Responses to Forest

  1. jason peters says:

    I’m very interested in knowing the sources for the above information (forest of Middlesex). Do you know of any maps or reference books that list these ‘fragments’ as being part of the Forest of Middlesex?

    • patrick says:

      Hi Jason I’m afraid I just unsystematically reported every reference to a piece of ancient woodland as being a fragment from the old Forest of Middlesex. I think your best bet might be the Victoria County History of Middlesex which is available on the internet.

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