You never know what you might find in the woods at The Wild Boar. It is an ancient woodland, but there is so much more than simply a few old trees! There’s a huge range of trees, wildlife, history, art and activities that make this 72 acre site a very special place indeed.
Choose a trail to lead you through the woods, well marked and graded on The Wild Boar map. Amongst the delights is a wonderful example of an ancient Sweet Chestnut which stands beside the many trunks of coppiced sweet chestnuts. This was the wood that was used to make charcoal in the production of gunpowder and methanol explosives in the First World War.
Continuing on the military theme, the former rifle platforms are evidence that the woods were used for target shooting by volunteers of the Rifle Corps in the Great War. The map indicates ‘HellFirePass’ and ‘Blighty Don’, memories perhaps of action in the Crimean and Boer Wars. Even earlier than this, the woods supported the thriving textile industry in Kendal, supplying softened flax fibres from the many retting ponds, now drained and colonized by wetland species.
Beautiful examples of Alder, Silver Birch, Hawthorn, Holly, Hazel and Wild Cherry take their place amongst the majestic Douglas Fir, Sessile Oak and sweeping Larch.
The variety of trees is dwarfed in number only by the range of birds and wildlife that can be spotted in the woods; over forty different species of birds including Mistle Thrush Treecreeper, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Pheasant, Sparrowhawk, Eagle Owl and Peregrine Falcon.
If you happen to find yourself in the right place at the right time the quick of eye might see even see foxes, badgers squirrels, otters, lizards, adders and slow worm, red deer and roe deer.
You can’t walk through the woods without having a go on the Wild Boar gym trail, eight exercise stations designed to provide an all-body workout for residents or diners at the The Wild Boar Grill and Smokehouse restaurant. Perfect for building up an appetite!
If the exertion is all too much, there’s a whole series of organic and sculptural seating at positions to take advantage of views through the woods and along the Gilpin Valley. The latest striking edition is features owls either end designed and produced by a local artist.