Laurie Lee Wood

A walk through the magical Laurie Lee Wood is a step back in time. This small, ancient and semi-natural woodland is full of wildflowers such as white helleborine, and bluebells in spring.

Location

Knapp Lane
Elcombe
Stroud
The nearest postcode is GL6 7LA

OS Map Reference

SO876068
What3Words: lawfully.across.covers
A static map of Laurie Lee Wood

Know before you go

Size
3 hectares

Entry fee

Free

Parking information

The village of Slad is the best place for parking, or there is a small amount of parking in laybys on Knapp Lane

Grazing animals

None

Walking trails

Part of the Laurie Lee Wildlife Way, a 5.3 mile circular walk that covers much of the picturesque Slad Valley
A leaflet is available from our shop here.

Access

There is a path running through Laurie Lee Wood, but ground is uneven, and the terrain is steep in places

A bench in the middle of the nature reserve provides a welcome rest for visitors

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open access throughout the year

Best time to visit

Throughout the year

About the reserve

This nature reserve has been a woodland for hundreds of years and is home to less common species of trees and a wealth of wildflowers in spots where sunlight can penetrate the canopy, thanks to a history of coppicing here. Visit in spring to enjoy the sight and smell of a carpet of bluebells, followed by wild garlic, violets, yellow archangel and woodruff, and autumn to find various fungi, such as the unmistakable jelly ear.

Laurie Lee Wood is named after the famous writer whose book Cider with Rosie put the Slad Valley on the map. This internationally best-selling memoir explores Laurie Lee’s childhood at the turn of the twentieth century and contains many references to homes and natural features that can still be seen today. Previously known as Trantershill Wood, it belonged to the Lee family for several years before being purchased by GWT in 2013 after the public appeal received an outstanding response. Laurie Lee Wood was formally opened to the public on the day that would have been the writer’s 99th birthday. His widow Kathy and daughter Jessy were at the opening. Jessy said she and her mother were delighted that this special part of the Slad Valley was “now in such safe hands”. More than 1,000 supporters made donations in support of the appeal to buy the wood.

Keep an eye out for the wooden poetry posts featuring excerpts from Laurie Lee’s work.

Work will continue to keep  glades throughout the woodland open, enabling sunlight to reach the floor and encouraging flowers to grow. Coppicing is also planned to maintain a diverse mix of hazel trees of different ages, creating a better mixture of habitats.

Environmental designation

Ancient Woodland