Parndon Woods and Common is an important feature on Harlow's Southern Ridge.
Parndon Wood together with Parndon Common (Fennels Field) and Hospital and Risdens Wood
form the Parndon Woods and Common Local Nature Reserve.
This ancient woodland consists of mature hornbeam coppice and oak.
Historically, the hornbeam would have been cut in a fifteen year cycle. Harlow Council continues to be responsible for woodland management, which is mainly carried out by volunteers.
Parndon Wood has a Conservation Centre which is now run by local charity ECCO: there is a small café for light refreshments, a meeting room, and toilets. A small reference library can be accessed by request. There are a number of picnic tables outside. Some woodland produce is for sale, including firewood, charcoal, and oak to order.
Opposite the centre is a boardwalk leading to a wheelchair accessible hide overlooking a pond; there is also a pond-dipping platform that may be accessed on request. Just up the hill from the Conservation Centre is an outdoor classroom with seating and a story-telling chair in the form a giant tawny owl carving.
The wood has a Green Flag Award for 2013/14 and has held awards continuously since 2009.
A nature trail runs around the woodland with numbered stops that can be followed using a trail guide. There are two hides on route: a large one overlooking the main pond, and a smaller one looking into the non-intervention area beyond the deer fencing at the southern end of the wood.
Bird species include nuthatch, jay, great spotted woodpecker,
goldcrest, woodcock, tree creeper, cuckoos, chiffchaffs, and garden warblers.
Fallow deer, muntjac deer, foxes, rabbits, squirrels, and grass snakes are present in the woods.
Parndon Wood opening times, 2013
| ||1 Apr - 30 Sep||1 Oct - 31 Mar|
|Sundays & |
For further information including current opening times and details of events at the wood contact ECCO
or visit the
Parndon Wood page
on the Harlow Council website.