Molly's Wood

Molly’s Wood & Community Orchard



Molly’s Wood is a ten acre site off Hulls Mill Lane , Sible Hedingham which is being managed for wild life and the fruits of an orchard.

In January 2010 substantial donations were given to establish a community orchard. This was planted in November of that year, covering about an acre of land and using a team of volunteers. We now have 63 mixed fruit trees, mostly Essex varieties, which are now well established.

In February 2012 the Woodland Trust donated 400 mixed broad leaf trees and Greenfields Community Housing supplied us with 400 Hazel. The Hazel will establish a Hazel coppice on the site as a cash crop. All these trees were planted over two weekends in February by hard working, but very satisfied, volunteers.

Coppice planting in Molly's Wood
Molly's Wood tree planting in the snow





On February 11th 2012 a number of interested residents got together to form “The Friends of Molly’s Wood”. We now have 32 members who will help to manage the project and arrange future events.

Our next project will be to re-establish a wildlife pond on the south corner of the site.



 Newsletter January 2015

Dear Friend,

May I wish you a good and successful 2015. I cannot claim that globally 2014 was one to remember with universal joy, but at least, as far as Molly’s Wood is concerned, we can view the year with some degree of satisfaction.


The log cabin (visitor centre) and toilet unit are now complete and have been furnished with tables and chairs donated by members. There is also a substantial library of natural history reference books for the use of members.


A photographic display of butterflies and wild flowers found in the woodland adds colour to the bare walls and helps our visitors to identify our local flora and fauna.




In March we were invited to display details of our project, its aims and objects at the Sible Hedingham annual parish meeting which included an account of the very successful visit from the Braintree Lyons Hall Primary School. Later on in the month the Castle Hedingham scouts group had their first evening meeting in the woodland. This was very successful and will become a regular feature in their monthly programme.




In may we had a preliminary visit from Elizabeth Appleton to discuss the use of Molly’s Wood for her “Learning outside of the classroom project”.; this is part of the Forest Schools Scheme. It is hoped that it will become a regular venue for her project as it represents one of our main objectives.




In August we arranged an open day with lots of exciting events for children, refreshments and prizes to be won. Despite the really dreadful weather in the morning the sun came out, the general public arrived in pleasing numbers and had a great afternoon.


The following week 50 members of the Hedingham Tea Group had a tea party and enjoyed a relaxing and peaceful afternoon visiting the woodland and socialising.  We were pleased to be able to provide these opportunities.




Perhaps the highlight of the year of the year the visit on October 31st. – Hallowe’en when rev Liz Paxton arranged a spooky evening for her Holiday Club. Thirty children and 20 adults had an adventure walk by torchlight through the wood followed by roasted marsh mallows, singing, readings and the telling of bible stories around a campfire. It was such a delight meeting Liz and her team and being able to provide a venue for the children. It must have left the children with a great sense of Christian values, a love of nature and an appreciation of the countryside which will be with the majority of them for the rest of their lives.




It is hoped that the interest in the facilities that we are striving to provide for our members and their friends will continue into 2015 and that  a growing support will enable us to improve year on year. The sale of our 2015 calendar gave us a profit of £304 which will pay our petrol costs for running the mowers etc. and will be a great help. Insurance is our other main expense.




Here is to a successful 2015,




Friends of Molly’s wood