Dedicated to Old and Modern Kinson

 A fascinating place to walk with lots of interest

Cuckoo Woods, Kinson, Bournemouth

Footpath E34 leads from Brook Road along a pleasant track down towards the small wooded area which is unique in Kinson.

Footpaths E46, E47, E48 and E51 cross around the tall ancient oaks. Cuckoo Woods is also easily reached from the nearby Wimborne Road and is accessed by walking along Kitscroft Road to its main entrance. Footpath E49, a very ancient trackway, also allows access to Cuckoo Woods alongside the Kinson Conservative Club, which fronts the busy Wimborne Road.

Cuckoo Woods is much appreciated by residents as an area for walking and recreation. Long before naturalists took an interest in its natural history, caring residents were already aware of its need for continued preservation.

There is much for residents and naturalists to enjoy. In conservation terms, there are no conflicts of interest. The fact that some people do care means that the area is watched over and this to some extent does help towards its future preservation. It also has to be remembered that highway proposals mooted many decades ago have not finally been resolved.

The beauty of this area, despite the very apparent closeness of modern housing, is that the area does retain an air of charm of centuries past and  gone. Without realising it, many people walk this area unaware that they are walking over ancient areas one known as Hydes, Jolliffe Close, Little Dukes and Dukes. All these field systems still partially surviving once belonged to the Bankes Family from Corfe Castle.

The following is more detailed information about Cuckoo Woods:

Cuckoo Woods situated in approximately 1.74 acres (excluding grassland), is a small ancient coppice which survives to the present day. It is surrounded by housing and the main Kinson shopping centre is only a few minutes walk away.

Historical importance
Although the January storms of 1990 uprooted several specimens, over 60 mature oaks remain. These serve as a lasting reminder of the days when the surrounding land was open fields and its only companions were Englington House and Duke`s cottage - which gave the coppice its original name "Dukes Coppice".

Another forgotten name for this area is "Kevil`s Copse", named after Jasper Keevil who also owned Eglington House and the coppice.

In 1867, the coppice was already established then and the land was sold at auction by the Rev`d Henry Fryer. It is likely that the area was entirely wooded in the centuries preceding this time.

It is rare in north Bournemouth to find a woodland site in its almost original state. The only other wooded areas that compare to this site may be found at Kinson Common, near the old Pitt`s Farm area and Cudnell woodland which overlook Millhams Mead.

As well as serving as a permanent reminder of an older Kinson, archaeological finds dating back to the Iron Age have been uncovered.

The upper canopy supports at least two types of bat and is home for the Tawny Owl, and in the summer, the Spotted Flycatcher and warblers such as The Blackcap and the Chiffchaff and numerous other wild birds throughout the year.

Small colonies of Purple Hairstreak butterflies live upon the oaks, upon which totally depend for their food supply in their larval stages.

The ground level supports many resident birds, small mammals, plant and insect life. The open grassland to the east supports a wealth of butterflies as do the sunny glades to be found in the woodland habitat. These include the Speckled Wood, Red Admirals and Holly Blues.

There is ample cover for nesting birds within the secondary vegetation such as Hawthorn, Holly, Bramble and Honeysuckle. Of particular interest is the presence of Hazel which is becoming scarcer in Bournemouth.

The site is managed by the Borough of Bournemouth.

This area should be left completely natural. Litter picking is undertaken by a small team.

Provided fallen trees do not pose or constitute a danger to either humans or animals, much of the wood which cannot be used for other purposes, should be left for insect life such as beetles.

In the northern end of the coppice, there is some oak regeneration. Some replanting of oaks in the future should take place to ensure the continued succession of this important woodland site.

Natural History Checklists

Trees & Shrubs
1. Oak
2. Elm
3. Elderberry
4. Hazel
5. Sycamore
6. Horse Chestnut
7. Hawthorn
8. Rowan
9. Ash
10. Snowberry
11. Pin Oak
12. Common Lime

13. Greater Stitchwort
14. Bramble
15. Cow Parsley
16. Stinging Nettle
17. Bluebell
18. Lesser Celandine
19. Daisy
20. Dandelion
21. Cuckoo-pint
22. Shepherd`s Purse
23. Groundsel
24. Star of Bethlehem
25. Ribwort Plantain
26. Broad-leaved Dock
27. Ivy
28. Hogweed
29. Bracken
30. Knapweed
31. Bittersweet
32. Creeping Thistle
33. Meadow Buttercup
34. Buddleja
35. Pignut
36. Wood Avens
37. Red Clover
38. Raspberry
39. Cleavers
40. Garlic Mustard
41. White Clover
42. Black Medick
43. Honeysuckle
44. Hedge Bindweed
45. Greater Plantain
46. Common Catsear
47. Dog Rose
48. Common Vetch
49. Common Chickweed
50. Silverweed
51. Prickly Sowthistle
52. Common Fumitory
53. Ragwort
54. Common Sorrel
55. Spear Thistle
56. Pineapple Weed
57. Field Horsetail
58. Lesser Stitchwort
59. White Bryony
60. Lesser Periwinkle
61. Canadian Golden-rod

62. Wall Barley
63. Common Rye Grass
64. False Oat
65. Couch Grass
66. Meadow Foxtail Grass
67. Annual Meadow Grass

68. Soft Rush

(More research required)

1. Speckled Wood
2. Red Admiral
3. Brimstone
4. Painted Lady
5. Small White
6. Large White
7. Small Tortoiseshell
8. Small Copper
9. Common Blue
10. Hedge Brown
11. Peacock
12. Purple Hairstreak
13. Meadow Brown
14. Large Skipper
15. Small Skipper
16. Comma
17. Holly Blue
18. Orange Tip
19. *Grayling

*visitor from the nearby
Kinson Common.

1. Common Bat
2. Fox
3. Grey Squirrel
4. Wood Mouse
5. Serotine Bat?
6. Hedgehog
7. Brown Rat

1. Slow-worm

Wild Birds
1. Starling
2. Wood Pigeon
3. Robin
4. Blue Tit
5. Great Tit
6. Long-tailed Tit
7. Tree Creeper
8. Nuthatch
9. Tawny Owl
10. Wren
11. House Sparrow
12. Dunnock
13. Blackbird
14. Song Thrush
15. Blackcap
16. Chiffchaff
17. Willow Warbler
18. Collared Dove
19. Spotted Flycatcher
20. Carrion Crow
21. Rook
22. House Martin
23. Swift
24. Swallow
25. Swift
26. Greenfinch
27. Goldfinch
28. Chaffinch
29. Magpie
30. Sparrow Hawk
31. Grt Spotted Woodpecker
32. Green Woodpecker
33. Kestrel
34. Black-headed Gull
35. Jay
36. Buzzard

(More research required)

(Random recordings only)

1. 7-spot Ladybird
2. Rose Chafer
3. Green Lacewing
4. Dock leaf Beetle
5. Oak-apple Gall
6. Marble Gall
7. Stag Beetle
8. Common Wasp
9. Greenbottle
10. Bluebottle
11. Small Plume Moth
12. Small Magpie Moth
13. Oak Eggar Moth
14. Large Magpie Moth
15. Black Bean Aphid
16. Common Frog Hopper
17. Golden Pigmy
18. Common Earwig
19. Woodlouse
20. Green Oak Roller
21. Nemotois degeerella
22. Tipula paludosa
23. Bombus pratorum
24. Hawthorn Shield Bug
25. Cockchafer
26. Meadow Ant
27. Garden Black Ant
28. Common Dung Fly
29. Sun Fly
30. Garden carpet Moth
31. Cinnabar Moth
32. Tanyptera strata
33. Green Tiger Beetle
34. Silk Button Spangle Gall
35. Centipede
36. Snake Millipede

(More research required)

When this checklist was compiled, hopefully as the basis for others to also list this important area in Kinson, the grassland to the east and north were also included in the area known as Cuckoo Woods.

Cuckoo Woods in Winter (2004)

We publish this photograph to thank Mr. Russell May for all the hard work he undertakes in keeping this small wooded area free of litter.

Map of the Cuckoo Woods area (1)

This dates to the 1760`s.

Map of the Cuckoo Woods area (2)

This dates to the 1830`s.

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