SOLD: Black Wood, Cumbria. £149,500 Freehold

  • Sowerby Row, Penrith, Cumbria
  • over 9 acres
  • Cumbria


Black Wood has existed as woodland for a very many years; at the very least since 1861. This rich and diverse broadleaf woodland will enable people of all ages to manage and enjoy a very special piece of woodland, all year round, in peace and seclusion. It is connected to other, surrounding woodlands, including Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland, and has many ancient woodland indicator plants in the extensive ground cover.

Since 2007 the current owner has managed the wood with a focus on biodiversity. Prior to 2007, a previous owner completed a Woodland Grant Scheme (Farm Woodland Premium Scheme), to improve the track to the north of Whale Gill and also to re-coppice hazel. The current owner has been very actively involved in managing the wood and has carried out the following:

Drained, reinforced, and surfaced with weed membrane and bark chip, a further 30m of walking track.

Built an outdoor hearth with suspension bar.

Removed some sycamores for improved red squirrel habitat, and

Removed some large beech, sycamore, birch and willow near the road.

Some hedges have also been improved, but there is scope for further laying and improving these valuable habitats.

(Advice on the management of the wood has been sought from Cumbria Woodlands, Eden Rivers Trust, and Northern Red Squirrels).

Whale Gill is a small burn that runs through the heart of the wood and supports its own ecosystem of damp-loving species. At the top of the wood there is also a valuable spring, giving additional resilience to climate change.

The cabin and fixtures are included in the sale, as are the various firewood piles throughout the wood.

Viewing is strictly by appointment please.

The purchasers of the woodland will be asked to enter into a covenant to ensure the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of adjoining woodlands and meadows.


The trees are primarily mixed native deciduous: alder, birch, ash, aspen, Scots pine, rowan, holly, wild cherry, hazel, goat willow, field maple and oak, some of which are around 150 years old. There is also sycamore, beech, and some large Douglas fir and Norway spruce. It includes ancient hedgerows and an area of rare wet woodland which is predominantly alder, well known for its love of wetland environments.

The woodland floor is a rich carpet of ground flora, many of which are ancient woodland indicator species. Bluebell, dog’s mercury, anemone, primroses, scabious, wild raspberries and strawberries, viola, scarlet cup fungi, and spotted orchid can all be found. The existing flora has been supplemented with planted Cumbrian apple trees, a damson tree and blackcurrant bushes.


The woodland is a leafy island surrounded by arable farmland, as such it is an essential resource for passing and resident wildlife. Fauna includes roe deer, red squirrel and a surprising number of hares.

Birdlife is similarly in evidence with woodpecker, buzzard, tree-creeper and goldfinch to name but a small selection.


Black Wood features a 3.5m x 5m wooden storage and daytime shelter cabin which was built with planning permission in 2011. The cabin benefits from a wood-burning stove, firewood rack, insulation, double glazing, and secure shutters. There is an additional hardcore area suitable for a 4m diameter tent, and several other work and recreation areas including an outdoor cooking station, a compost toilet and a zip line across the valley. NB; the zip wire is not suitable for transporting people, it is to facilitate the movement of timber and tools only.

Access, tracks and footpaths

Access to the wood is via a single-track, quiet minor road which is also a national cycle route. From the gated entrance about 60 meters of good, level, hardcore track, suitable for a domestic car leads into the heart of the wood (no need for 4x4 here). From here on a footpath leads down the valley, crossing Whale Gill on a small footbridge, and up the other side in a complete circuit of the wood.

There are no public footpaths running through Black Wood.

Rights and covenants

The sporting rights are owned and included in the sale.


This wood is an ideal woodland retreat. Far enough away from the road network to give peace and seclusion and yet readily accessed from the national motorway network. The provision of the small cabin and other woodland amenities gives a focal point and facilities for a wide range of activities. From conservation and management to nature watching and recording to a place to escape for a while from the turmoil of modern life.

The density of the trees means that small-scale selective felling would easily provide a small source of domestic firewood, easily processed and stacked to dry on the provided hardstanding.

Local area and history

Black Wood is located within Cumbria's agricultural heartland, which although largely arable and livestock farming, it does feature timber harvesting as well. Indeed, the wood was harvested for pit props during WW2. Nowadays, as the forestry industry is more focused on large-scale conifer production, smaller woods have been allowed to regenerate organically and regain their natural beauty.

Wood maps

This wood is now sold, please do not visit the wood without the permission of the owner.

Find this wood

This wood is now sold, please do not visit the wood without the permission of the owner.


  • OS Landranger: OS No. 90
  • Grid ref: NY 394 393
  • Nearest post code: CA4 0QH
  • GPS coordinates: 54.7451, -2.9426

Location map


Viewing is strictly by appointment please.

Black Wood is just off the B5305 about 20 minutes north of Penrith and about 25 minutes south of Carlisle.

Satnav: the postcode CA4 0QH is for the point shown by the red dot on the location maps. Satnav coordinates are: N 54:74:53, W 2:94:14:

What3words: ///gliding.frantic.skylights

Click Here for Directions From Bing Maps enter your own postcode, (Black Wood coordinates are already entered) and click on the blue "Go" box. This will take you to the main gate.

Our Directions:

  • from either the north or the south leave the M6 at Jct41 and take the B5305 towards Wigton.
  • Continue for about 14 miles passing Hutton in the Forest on the left, then turn right at a minor junction signposted Skelton Wood End.
  • At the T junction turn left signposted Sowerby Row.
  • The gated entrance to the wood is a further 0.5 miles on the left. There is no "for sale" sign but the gate has a name sign clearly visible.
  • Park safely in the gateway entrance and continue on foot.

How we support our buyers

Membership of the small woodland owners’ group

£300 for a woodland course of your choice

One year's free membership of the royal forestry society

Our regional managers are often out working in our woodlands, so if you email an offer and want to be sure it has been received, please phone our manager on their mobile phone. The first offer at the stated price which is accepted, whether by phone or email, has priority.

Please take care when viewing as the great outdoors can contain unexpected hazards and woodlands are no exception. You should exercise common sense and caution, such as wearing appropriate footwear and avoiding visiting during high winds.

These particulars are for guidance only and, though believed to be correct, do not form part of any contract.

An idyllic mixed broadleaf woodland located in a small river valley in peaceful, rural, Cumbria.

Viewing is strictly by appointment please.

Managed by David and Sarah Alty

Telephone: 07795 104 594

Email: [email protected]