Salcey forest

Salcey Forest is a remnant of the old medieval Royal Hunting Forests of Northamptonshire offering excellent walking and oportunities to view an amazing range of wildlife. Reminders of the past can still be found, with many miles of ancient woodbanks, building remains and ancient trees. The 'druids' or veteran oaks in Salcey are rare wildlife habitats. Some of the old oaks are believed to be over 500 years old. The ‘Salcey Oak’ was once the biggest oak in England. It had a circumference of over 14 metres (46’10” in old money) and would have been over 1600 years old this century.


The Forests provided meat for the Crown's entourage when Kings or Queens were travelling round the country. According to a complicated system of Forest Law, other people could be granted rights to gather firewood 'by hook or by crook' or to graze livestock. On the other hand, cutting down trees or poaching were serious offences and heavy penalties were handed out to offenders. in 1635, 123 poor people were tried for such offences and fined up to four pence, a huge sum in those days.


Salcey Forest is between Milton Keynes and Northampton, and located immediately to the east of the small village of Hartwell. The main car park is located off the road between Quinton and Hanslope, about 6 miles south east of Northampton. At weekends and peak periods the car park and forest can get extremely busy. Salcey forest is now offering the unique experience of aŁ700,000 Treetop walk, giving commanding views over the county from its Watch tower and a birds eye view of nature and wildlife in the trees. Towering 16 metres above the forest floor and over 300 metres long, you could see woodpeckers feeding, tawny owls nesting and probably the shy fallow deer below.


Today, the forest is managed for its timber, wildlife and recreation. Salcey is particularly important for its wildlife which included the rare Dormouse and Black Hairstreak Butterfly.

Art in Salcey Forest: For a limited time, May 10th 2008-May 2009, Salcey Forest becomes host to nine sculptures by Linda Johns. They are presented as an art walk in the beautiful setting of Salcey Forest. Open to the public every day during daylight hours, the sculptures are made from stainless steel, copper or brass wire and Oak, Hazel, Ash and Pine that were found locally:

Light; Iris; Body weave III; Spirit weave II; Wood spirit; Geodesic body weave; Falling seeds; Regeneration; Wood spirit II

View her website for more details,