Spring Wood Nature Preserve, originally called Oxheywoode, was owned by monks from Whalley Abbey. Described as being “one bow shot East of the Abbey” in 1553. The wood contained trees such as hazel and elder, as these were mentioned in a survey from 1528 carried out by the Crown. Such trees would have been coppiced, i.e. that is cut back to ground, every 20 years. This doesn’t kill the tree, but encourages the stump to produce new stems, that then vigorously grow. By managing the trees in this way, timber of a required size and shape could be produced.
Today the wood is classed as semi-natural ancient woodland, which makes it a rarity, especially in Lancashire. The hazel trees are being coppiced once again, which allows sunlight to fall into the cleared area until the trees regrow. These well lit areas encourage the growth of flowers that would usually be shaded out under a thick woodland canopy. In the springtime the wood has a good growth of bluebells and wild garlic.
Common names: bluebell; English bluebell; British bluebell - Scientific name: Hyacinthoides non-scripta (Fam: Asparagaceae).