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Pullingshill Wood

Pullingshill Wood - photo by Jon Morris, Chiltern Woodland ProjectPullingshill Wood is a quiet and peaceful spot renowned for the WWI practice trenches which can be found on site. They are a very rare example of this feature in the UK and were built by various regiments stationed nearby at Bovingdon Green during the early years of the war.

The trenches are in good condition and their pattern can be followed today despite natural infilling through soil and leaf litter build-up. 'Archaeology in Marlow' have been researching the history of the trenches in a Lottery-funded project - two interpretation panels on site help to document the history of this feature.

An ancient sloping woodbank divides the wood from the common and is the boundary between Medmenham Parish and Great Marlow Parish. It is believed that this dates back to the Norman conquest.

The wood also has more recent claims to fame; in 1996 it featured in the film 101 Dalmatians. Although the woods put in a sterling performance, the weather did not, and snow machines had to be brought in to give the wintry weather the script called for!

Ghost Orchid - photo by Andy SwashThe woods' history and location (the Chiltern Way cuts through them), make it a very popular area with walkers. Among the other sights to see if you visit this wood is a huge, coppiced sweet chestnut tree on the slope, and other striking mature trees are scattered throughout the woods. Many of these unfortunately suffered from storms during 1987 and 1990. The wood has been designated a SSSI, due in particular to the presence of the rare ghost orchid, an interesting species for botanists to spot.

The beauty of Pullingshill Wood inspired local photographer, Rachel Wallace, and local artist Keith Beckett-Hester to enter the following artworks in the 2008 Special Woods Art Competition:

'Autumn beech' by Rachel Wallace

'Winter beech' by Rachel Wallace

'Winter beech' won the "People's Award" in a public ballot held at the exhibition during the autumn of 2008.

'Early Evening September' by Keith Beckett-Hester

'September evening' by Keith Beckett-Hester

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