The ancient wooded valleys of the Quantocks are a magical landscape, criss crossed with woodland trails and alive with the sound of birdsong. A place of tranquility, dappled light and rich woodland wildlife
There are four main types of woodland found with the AONB. Ash-hazel woodlands, western sessile oak woodlands, coniferous plantation and small farm woodlands.
The sessile oak woodlands are designated a Special Area of Conservation at European Level, they are also protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest making them a valuable resource. These ancient woodlands were coppiced for centuries prior to the 20th century for charcoal making and tanning, a process where the trees were cut to ground level and then allowed to grow back. They can be identified by the acorn which sits directly on the branch, and due to the poor quality of soil on the hillsides have twisted trunks, adding to the atmosphere of the woodlands.
Great Wood was originally a Royal hunting forest. Oak trees were used for ship building in the 1800s. In the 1900s the Forestry Commission planted conifer trees to reduce our reliance on imports. Today the wood is a haven for people and wildlife.
Great Wood has plenty of wide tracks with a good surface that are well maintained. The majority of tracks are easy going with some steep places.
The Combes of the Quantock Hills are renowned across the UK for their intensity and unique riding experience.