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Savernake Forest, Marlborough
(3.6/5 based on 80+ 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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  • Lovely setting, somewhat spoilt by a large number of seasonal pitches which have taken some of the best places. The management and staff were very friendly and could not have been more helpful 
  • We regularly visit Savernake forest for enjoying walks & observing the wild life, deer roam freely through here. The are plenty of places to picnic & a narrow road passed through the middle, north to ...  more »
  • We struggled to find the start point and parking at first as not clear to us from web. Entrance is off the Matlborough Burbage road. Autumn Sunday afternoon and lots of people, but once we started wal...  more »