West Wood Nature ReserveRayleigh Road, Thundersley, Benfleet, Essex, SS7 3ST
West Wood includes the high ground of Daws Heath, down to the valley of the Prittle Brook. For at least two hundred years the wood belonged to the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral and was managed as a coppice woodland.
A map of 1750 shows that the boundary of the wood has barely changed for two centuries. During these two centuries the wood has been actively managed; few if any trees in the wood today were present then but many of the coppice stools survive having been cut down and re-grown many times since.