A Walk Through Witchwood
This video was commissioned by the Lytham St Annes Civic Society in 2021 as an information training video for those both
volunteering and members of the Society who are both involved and interested in this local ongoing project.
This is a mort&Pal Video Production. First Aired on a Zoom meeting in September 2021.
1 Mile Witchwood Walk
Situated within the urban area of Lytham St Annes, Witchwood is the most popular woodland walk in the Fylde.
Joining Lytham with Ansdell, the walk was created by Lytham St Annes Civic Society volunteers in 1974, when it was officially opened by the Duke of Edinburgh.
We own part of the wood and we rent the rest from Network Rail in order to create the walk which is about a mile in length alongside the railway line.
Hundreds of walkers enjoy the wood each week, but did you know that it’s run entirely by volunteers and has no public funding?
If you’d like to get involved or help raise funds for this wonderful, woodland walkway, please get in touch
Who was ‘The Witch’? Find out below…
Estimated Cost: +£20,000
Project Leader: Marion Coupe
In Partnership With: Network Rail
What Makes This Project So Special?
- All the trees are under preservation orders and part of the site is an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). We only fell trees when they are diseased and/or dangerous
- There is a gravestone in the wood dated 1888. It is the grave of The Witch, a family horse of the Cliftons of nearby Lytham Hall which fell and died in the wood
- The wood is itself a remnant of the woodland of Lytham Hall and is crossed by Church Drive, the old carriage drive from St Cuthbert’s Church via Church Lodge to Lytham Hall
- A memorial bench was placed in 2013 in memory of a local soldier who was killed in Afghanistan
- Ansdell Women’s Institute have recently commemmorated the WI centenary with a gift of mini daffodils and aconites planted near Skew Bridge
Our Volunteers Are Amazing
The Civic Society has teams of volunteers working in the wood all year round. They plant trees, clear undergrowth, pick litter and do their best to keep the path in good condition.
Witchwood is a credit to the vision and enthusiasm of past and present members of the Civic Society who raise money for its upkeep and whose volunteers put so much time and effort into keeping the wood a pleasant place to be.
Due to heavy usage, over £20,000 was spent on the path over ten years ago, partly paid for by grants, and partly by legacies and members subscriptions.
Grants are less available now but we still need support for maintenance.
If you’d like to support this project, please get in touch
Want To Know More? Read On…
Dangerous and diseased trees have to be felled, and much of the resulting wood is left to rot in order to encourage insects and grubs, which in turn are food for the birds.
Nettles and brambles provide food for butterflies and moths, with clearings made to encourage wild flowers. Biodiversity has increased further with the addition of a pond, quickly colonised by frogs.
We feel it’s important to encourage native trees, plants and insect life.
Flourishing Wildlife… & Pests!
A hibernating bug tower has been built to give shelter to bees and wasps. About 20 species of bird nest in the wood, including woodpeckers and long tailed tits.
The main pests in the wood are grey squirrels, whose activities kill young trees, dog walkers who do not clean up (though most do), and cyclists, who ruin the path and endanger walkers.
If you have a dog it is important that you keep it under control as we have no responsibility for the fencing either side of the wood. Please consider others and always clean up after your dog, there are bins at each entrance – thank you!
If you’d like to help you can:
Join our weekly litter pickers rota (high viz jackets and bags provided) or become a volunteer.
ENJOY YOUR WALK!