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The Enchanted Woodland
Three and a half acres of nature's own woods and meadow land tucked into a corner of Dartford!
At the base of the Temple Hill Estate lies the Enchanted Woodland - the only openly accessible wood in Dartford. The woodland is maintained by dedicated volunteers who keep the green space spic and span so that everyone can enjoy its peace and tranquillity any day, all year long.
Many people use the wood - just for a peaceful walk, dog walking, a push bike ride, a picnic, following your passion for photography, that elusive geo-cache trail - we've now even got our own Pokestop!
We have places to sit and relax, well trodden wide walks and smaller trails into the depth of the woods. The wood is a haven for many species of birds and wildlife in general and is overflowing with wild flowers.
If you're interested in finding out more about the history of the woodland please visit the Joyce Green Hospital History page.
In Autumn The Enchanted Woodland is awash with the sound of busy insects catching the last of the year's bounty.
Common Ivy – its inconspicuous yellow flowers appear between September to October providing a veritable feast for butterflies, hoverflies and honey bees. There is even a specialised solitary bee, the Ivy Bee, which emerges late in the year to take advantage of the rich high quality nectar – so rich in sugars (49%) that many species rely on this source to build essential reserves to help them hibernate over the colder months. By late October the berries are turning black, providing a winter long larder for our bird life such as the wood pigeon, thrush and blackbird. Ivy’s thick tangles provide safe hiding, roosting and hibernating spaces and, in the spring, a home for many a nesting bird.
The woodland floor carpeted with ivy gives protection against winter frosts offering a haven for birds and other woodland creatures and providing good foraging in bitter spells. The blanket of ivy keeps at bay other invasive species and gives us relief from bramble and stinging nettles.
Old thoughts die hard though, many consider ivy to be a parasite, sapping the energy of the tree it is climbing and harming the walls it is covering.
Yet a recent survey by Oxford University, commissioned by English Heritage, suggests this is not so, saying that ivy positively protects walls – offering a shield against pollution, frost and salt. The roots do only superficial damage to the structure and have been found to warm winter walls by 15% and cool summer ones by 36%.
Revered by the Romans, Greeks, Egyptians and Celts – its evergreen leaves offer the concept of eternity. Irish folklore suggests you twine the female branch of the ivy with the male of the holly with red ribbon to offer as a love talisman, bringing fidelity and good luck.
For our part we strive to protect the balance of nature in the Woodland. We know that the dense evergreen canopy of ivy, when weighted down with rain in heavy winds, can fell a tree and for that reason we take care to cut back the ivy from our more mature trees - providing protection and ensuring the safety of our environmental heritage.
Tree Nurturing Scheme
A big thank you to all the volunteers who have offered to look after 105 small trees for a couple of years. Bringing them on to reach, perhaps, 4ft in height will enable them to compete with the strong competition the annuals put out year on year. Being so small and battling against voracious stinging nettles can sometimes be a problem!
Need to talk to someone about the trees you are nurturing for us?
Then please contact Joan Francis, the Project Administrator on:
Tel: 07895 123102
The Enchanted Woodland welcomes responsible dog owners
The 3C Dog Code
C - Cautious
Always ensure your dog is in sight and comes back when called.
C - Clean Up
Always bag and bin. There are two dog bins located on the site - one at the Marsh Street entrance and the other at the Cobbled Path entrance.
C - Courtious
Don't let your dog approach people or other dogs unless invited.
Help us to keep this wonderful piece of nature looking at its best! Please:
Take your litter home with you
Pick up from your dog
And respect our neighbours
How to find the Enchanted Woodland
Nearby post code for Cornwall Road – DA1 5QG
Nearby post code for Marsh Street – DA1 5JX
The Sat Nav will tell you to go down Bob Dunn Way or University Way – you cannot access Cornwall Road this way, there is no vehicular access. Please follow directions as below instead.
Facilities within the Woods
Picnic Areas - we have two - one at the Round and one at the Amphitheatre. See map below.
Geocaching - yes.
Dogs are allowed at all times - but please use the bins provided for waste.
Dog Bins - there are two - one at the Marsh Street Footpath Entrance (south) by the anti-motor cycle barrier and the other by the Cobbled Path at Entrance A. See map below.
Cycling - yes.
Toilet - we have a toilet with disabled facilities which is open on event days.
Parking - there is ample parking in the nearby residential streets of Cornwall Road and Marsh Street. On event days the car park to the flats at the end of Cornwall Road is used as the woodland gates are unlocked at the designated meeting time.
Old maps show the green space as the Joyce Green Hospital Cemetery, now renamed The Enchanted Woodland. You will be able to find Cornwall Road and Marsh Street.
There is an anti-motor cycle barrier just beyond number 11 Marsh Street, a further two at the end of Marsh Street Footpath, where it runs parallel with Bob Dunn Way/University Way, and one at the cobbled path entrance at Cornwall Road. The barriers have been set to allow for wheelchairs, buggies and push bikes. If there is anyone who owns a motorised wheelchair we would be delighted to work with them to see if the access points can accommodate you.
The thicker red lines on the map below highlight the wider walkways made of compacted earth. The thinner red lines are narrower and slightly less accessible. There are no hills in the Woodland but the ground is 'lumpy' and can get pretty muddy.
Driving From Kent
M25 to J2 (A2 turn off)Roundabout – take 2nd Exit to Dartford (A225)Roads runs parallel with M25 heading towards TunnelRoundabout – 1st ExitRoundabout – 3rd ExitTurn right immediately into Pilgrims WayT Junction – turn left into Watling StreetRoundabout – 2nd Exit into St. Vincent’s RoadFollow as below from St. Vincent’s Road/Avenue
Driving From Essex/North London
M25 over the Dartford BridgeKeep to the left hand toll boothsTake the first left immediately after the toll booths (Junction 1A)Roundabout – 3rd Exit to Cotton Lane and StoneT. Junction and traffic lights – turn rightRoundabout – 3rd Exit into St. Vincent’s Road/AvenueRoundabout - turn left into Temple Hill SquareRoundabout – turn right into Trevithick DriveTake 3rd on LEFT – Joyce Green LaneTake 2nd Right – Cornwall Road
By Train to Dartford Station and then Bus to the Temple Hill Estate and the Enchanted Woodland
Exit station and walk leftWalk over the footbridge which takes you over a dual carriageway leading to the Town CentreAt the bottom of the footbridge steps you will find a bus stopCatch the Fast Track B bus to Joyce Green Lane where the bus turns around or Fast Track A to Joyce Green LaneJust before the bus turns around there is a road on the right called Cornwall Road On FootAt roundabout at the top of Temple Hill, go straight ahead and down Trevithick Drive and onto Henderson Drive until you arrive at Marsh Street. Turn left and walk through the anti motor cycle barrier into Marsh Street meadowland. Take the unmade footpath to the left and enter the Woodland beside the large chestnut (access point D).Alternatively... You can use the Cornwall Road entrance, from Trevithick Drive take a left into Joyce Green Lane and a right into Cornwall Road. Use the cobbled path on the right and enter the meadowland through the anti motor cycle barrier (access point A). The main path to the Woodland is on your left about 30 yards in.
Coming to Forest School or an Event?
We will meet you by the gates to the Woodland in the far right corner of the car park which is situated at the end of Cornwall Road. The gates are marked by a grey arrow on the map above. Or you can come through the gates and we will be at the blue metal container.
The Woodland needs your help - volunteer with us as a Ranger
As a Ranger you can get involved in plant surveys, bulb, shrub and tree planting, path clearance and maintenance and provide a supporting presence within the wood. You can also help organise events, activity days, walks and talks – whatever you feel comfortable with – we will give you the support, training and the uniform – in exchange, we would like some of your time. Why don't you join us on Wednesdays between 11.00am and 2.00pm? See our Rangers Page for more details.
We need even more volunteers to help us help the environment. Find out more on becoming a Woodland Ranger.