Join Visit Essex
- Find out more
Covering over 130 hectares, Hockley Woods are the largest remaining area of the wild wood, which covered Essex after the Ice Age 10,000 years ago.
The woods are a complex mosaic of different trees, each species growing where conditions are most favourable. Oak and sweet chestnut grow on the higher ground; birch on the most acidic soils; hornbeam on the wet clays; willow, hazel and ash along the streams.
Many of the plants in the wood, such as the wild service tree, wood anemone, wood spurge and cow-wheat will only grow on the undisturbed soils of ancient woods. Hockley Woods have survived because they have been coppice managed as a valuable resource.