Stowey Green Spaces
Who are the Stowey Green Spaces Group?
Stowey Green Spaces Group work to enhance and maintain the public green spaces in and around Nether Stowey and Over Stowey.
We are dependent on volunteers for work on a variety of local projects, as well as organising volunteer litter picking.
A vital part of our work is to encourage residents, visitors and local schoolchildren to visit and enjoy our green spaces. And to get involved!
Nether Stowey Recreation Ground
Millennium, Diamond & Platinum Jubilee Woods
Bypass Wood and Walk
What do we do
- Manage the Millennium, Diamond and Platinum and Jubilee Woods and Stowey Wood
- Plant and maintain saplings alongside the A39 in Stowey Bypass Wood and Walk
- Help manage gorse, bracken, and overgrown hedges on the Castle Mount
- Run monthly litter-picking sessions in Nether Stowey and Over Stowey parishes
- Record sightings of local flora and fauna on Friends of Quantock Wildlife Watch
- Research the history of our green spaces
We work with other groups, including the Quantock Countryside Volunteers, the Taunton Mid-Week Conservation Volunteers, Stowey Walking and the Field Studies Council at Nettlecombe and receive very welcome support from the Quantock AONB, the Parish Councils, County Council and local private landowners.
Read our annual report.
Join us on one of our volunteering days
Why not come along to one of our regular volunteering sessions? It’s always friendly, and not all hard work! Bring a flask and a sandwich to enjoy during the break.
So, if you are feeling energetic, there are
- holes for new trees to be dug
- trees to be planted
- undergrowth, brambles and weeds to be cleared
- footpaths to be kept clear for the enjoyment of walkers
- steps and bridges to be fixed
We’re a sociable working group, and it’s rewarding to know that you’re part of a community effort to improve our local countryside – with the added bonus of helping you to keep fit!
Wildlife abounds in our woods and hedges. If you like watching birds Stowey Wood is the ideal place to see woodpeckers, blackcaps, chiff-chaffs and many other species, as well as butterflies and insects.
Our litter picking mornings are popular. You can agree to tidy a street or woodland fringe by collecting litter. We supply bags and litter picking tools.
We are always looking for people with practical skills. And we need volunteers with administrative, office, and computer skills to publicise our work and support our activities. Age is no barrier, and children under appropriate supervision are welcome to join us in suitable activities.
We hope to see you soon! Please email email@example.com
The Green Spaces
Nether Stowey Recreation Ground
Although primarily a place for sporting activities and for children to let off steam on swings and slides, the Recreation Ground is also a place for walking and quiet contemplation of the countryside and its wildlife. The open grassland, hedges, trees and distant views across farmland to the hills combine to create a stimulating landscape for all to explore.
The Recreation Ground is managed by the Nether Stowey Village Hall & Recreation Ground Charitable Incorporated Organisation.
Millennium, Diamond and Platinum Jubilee Woods
Millennium Wood, 0.49 hectares (1.21 acres) in size, was planted by the community as a millennium project on land licensed to the Group by Somerset County Council in 1999.
The site (formerly used for dumping rubbish) was cleared in 2000, and about 800 trees were planted in 2000/2001 by local residents.
The Diamond Jubilee Extension (0.31 hectares) was added in 2012 when land to the north and west of the original wood was planted with 300 more trees, and a further 400 were planted in the Platinum Jubilee extension to the woods over the winter of 2022/2023.
The woods are managed by local volunteers to maintain biodiversity and to offer wildlife habitat. We are grateful to the Forestry Commission, Sedgemoor District Council, Wessex Water, Quantock Hills AONB and the many local people who supported this community project with donations.
Records show that Stowey Wood dates from 1700, and maybe from earlier still. Some of the plants that grow here, such as opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage, Wood Anemone, and Wild Service-tree are indicators of Ancient Woodland – defined as any area that’s been wooded continuously since at least 1600 AD.
The appearance of the wood has changed often over the years. For example, the ponds were once a quarry and an area of the wood used for hazel coppicing. In 1970 the Forestry Commission cleared two-thirds of the wood and planted Sitka Spruce, about half of which was felled from 2014 by forestry students from Bridgwater College.
In 2018 the then Somerset County Council licensed the wood to Stowey Green Spaces Group to manage for the benefit of wildlife and the community and replanting with native broadleaf saplings began. Further Sitka was removed by horse-logging in 2021 with funding via the Quantock Hills AONB from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund.
A circular walk from Nether Stowey Recreation Ground leads through the wood, which is rich in wildlife and flowering plants throughout the year.
Photo by Kit Houghton
With a spectacular 360-degree view from the top, The Mount contains remains of the Norman motte and bailey Stowey Castle, an Historic England Scheduled Monument. In 2018 it was placed on the Heritage at Risk Register because bracken and gorse had invaded much of the site.
Thanks to support from Historic England and The Quantock Landscape Partnership Scheme, our volunteers enjoyed working with the landowner to help clear the bracken and gorse and re-fence the land, allowing a flock of Herdwick sheep to graze and keep the vegetation under control. The site was removed from the At Risk register in 2022. Wildflowers and insects abound.
The area is open to the public – with a request to keep dogs on a lead.
Further Historic detail is available at Nether Stowey Parish Council
Copyright: Historic England Archive
Bypass Wood and Walk
This is a popular pedestrian link between Stogursey Lane, the Village Hall, the Church Centre, the Recreation Ground, onwards to the Old A39 and across to Inwood. The wide grass walk behind upper Lime Street has been meticulously mown for some years by one of the neighbouring residents and more recently Somerset Council sanctioned our volunteer activity that concentrates on caring for existing and planting new trees as well as extending the grass area with wild flowers – with the occasional construction project to facilitate walking.
Stowey Green Spaces Committee
We have informal monthly meetings to plan the management of our green spaces, how best to promote our activities to our community and to receive feedback on green developments in wider organisations.
Our meetings are open to everyone.