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Savernake Forest, Marlborough

(3.6/5 based on 85+ reviews on the web)
Savernake Forest is on a Cretaceous chalk plateau between Marlborough and Great Bedwyn in Wiltshire, England. Its area is approximately 4500acre.It is privately owned by the Marquess of Ailesbury and his family, and is administered by trustees. Since 1939 the timber of the forest has been managed by the Forestry Commission on a 999-year lease. The private status of Savernake - Britain's only privately owned forest - is maintained by shutting the forest to the public one day per year.Savernake's landform is one of rolling downland dissected by both dry and wet valleys. The valleys within the forest, of which there are four, are all dry valleys, and the presence of Cretaceous deposits of Clay-with-Flints creates the damp heavy soils suited to dense cover of oak and beech. There are patches of poor drainage and wet soil.A short history of the forest and its wardensFirst mention of a woodland "Safernoc" was made in AD 934 in the written records of the Saxon king Athelstan, but the land passed into Norman ownership soon after the Norman invasion of 1066.The royal forest established in the 12th century covered an area of some 150sqmi; it extended to the villages of East Kennett, Inkpen and the Collingbournes (west, east and south) while the River Kennet formed its northern limit. Savernake Forest was not continuously wooded: Royal forests were a mixture of woodland, copses, common land and rough pasture.
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  • One for all nature lovers and easily accessing from the M4 or A4 roads but this is not for cars park up in the forest and just get walking...always something to admire with stunning natural colours th...  more »
  • Early in the morning to see the best of the forest, If you want to visit later start at the picnic/barbecue area which does get busy at weekends, in the summer, but a 5 minute walk takes you deep into...  more »
  • Visited in January, we had a lovely 6.5 mile walk around the forest. Plenty of parking. There are toilets but these are closed during winter. There are many paths to choose from. We seemed to have the...  more »