Pond Wood

Autumn 2013 / Spring 2014

Pond Wood is the small wood at the junction of Northwick Road and Seacroft Gardens in South Oxhey.  The  small woodland contains a variety of species of trees but is most notable for the number of ancient pollarded Hornbeams.

Pollarding is the woodland management method of encouraging  branches by cutting off a tree stem 6 ft (2m)  above the ground.  If pollarding is done to the same tree over a number of years an expanded  tree trunk will result, and multiple new side and top shoots will grow.  In the early days of the South Oxhey Estate the Hornbeam trees in Pond Wood continued  to be  pollarded  as they were in years gone by, on a regular basis

At the junction of Northwick Road and Seacroft Gardens is a very good example, the tree is notable for its great age and features.

(Double click on photograph to enlarge)

This page was added on 26/10/2013.

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  • Yes! Martyn it certainly did find its low level and flooded a small part of Oxhey Wood School. I can remember the Headteacher at the time, Mr Tamblyn Jones being called out during that weekend to find children swimming in the small area where a slope leads down to the boiler house. The fire brigade came to pump the boiler house out and there was quite a lot of cleaning up to do in some areas.

    By Susan Waller (02/11/2013)
  • Thats really interesting Sue, I remember a really freak heavy rain in the 1980s the drains were blocked with leaves and a river of water poored from the woods down through the gardens of Oakdale Road trying to find the lowest point, which was the old pond and the lower lying school grounds. I see that Neil Hamilton has put up the old engraving showing the area around Pond Wood  , its amazing that such a scene existed before the school was built.

    By Martyn Willis (01/11/2013)
  • Pond Wood seems to have got its name from what is referred to on old maps as Park Pond which roughly occupied the area of Oxhey Wood School. Its a natural place for water to drain from the elevated areas of Oxhey Woods and it looks like from old maps that the square regular nature of the pond suggests it was made into a permanent feature for stocking with fish as it would have been a short distance from Oxhey Place and the old chapel. There is an engraving by the painter Frederick Goodall who built and lived at Grimsdyke Old Redding which shows the area covered in cattle watering!

    By Martyn Willis (30/10/2013)
  • I can remember seeing a picture of cattle watering on what is now Oxhey Wood School playing field many years ago, but have never been able to locate it, thank you for the comment about Frederick Goodall. The fact that the water would have drained to that area may answer the querie as to why the area around the  Key Stage 2 playground at Oxhey Wood School  is always damp, even during a hot summer.  I was Bursar/School Secretary at Oxhey Wood School for over 30 years and the dampness was investigated many times but an answer never found.

    By Susan Waller (30/10/2013)