12 July 2002

Wide choice of woodlands

BUYERS looking for a chunk of amenity woodland have a selection of sites varying widely in size and price to choose from across the country.

In Ravenstone, north Bucks, a 97-acre block of land including 37 acres of deciduous trees are due to go under the hammer with Howkins & Harrison on Aug 7 in the Cowpers Oak, a pub named after the locally born poet whose work "The Task" is thought to have been inspired by the woods.

The woodland is split between Hangers Spinney, which usually fields a good crop of bluebells, and adjoining Barnstaple wood where Mr Cowper, who along with the Rev William Newton penned such classic hymns as Amazing Grace, would have wandered.

The balance of the land consists of IACS-registered soil and the total guide price is £200,000.

Bluebells also feature on the list of attractions of an ancient Lincs wood up for grabs, and, according to selling agent Will Barker of Sleaford-based Pygott & Crone, the level of interest has been spectacular. "The opportunity to buy a Lincolnshire wood is quite unusual. We are not the most wooded of counties and something of this size is rarely available."

Gatecliff Wood, Langworth, runs to just over 17.5 acres, and features mainly oak, ash and lime and is thought to be over 400 years old. The guide price is £50,000 and the deadline for offers is Jul 17.

Humberts is also offering two compact deciduous parcels, both near Bath. Hentley Brake Wood, North Stoke, is the most affordable at £7500, but only covers 3.4 acres. Sopers Wood, Lansdown, is larger at 24 acres, and for anybody looking for some rough shooting is still relatively affordable at £23,000.

Potential purchasers looking for something bigger could be interested in 322-acre Common Wood, Penn, Bucks, which is set to go under the hammer in 16 lots on Jul 19. Sandy Douglas, of agent Knight Frank, is guiding the beech woodland at £1m, but individual lots range from 1.4 acres to 155 acres, with pre-auction guides of £10,000-300,000. &#42