Sampson Brake Wood £105,000 Freehold

  • Portsmouth Arms, Near South Molton, Devon
  • nearly 6 acres
  • Devon


Sampson Brake Wood forms part of a wooded valley know as the Taw valley. The woodland is noted as an Ancient Replanted Woodland - this means that it has been a woodland since at least 1600 AD and that the original native tree cover has been felled and replanted with mostly conifer trees in the 1960's. This includes an area of planted wild cherry and to the east a mixed hedgerow and hazel coppice.

The previous owner has started an Ancient Woodland Restoration project which has cleared pockets of sitka spruce to allow natural regeneration of native trees and the enrichment planting of other native species - this provides an excellent opportunity for the purchaser to put their own stamp on the future of the woodland via the planting of trees.

Please note that the cleared areas must be replanted with mixed broadleaved trees by June 2023. For further details about the replanting requirements please contact Stuart our local manager.

An attractive stream flows through the heart of the woodland and down to the river Taw. The area is well drained with fertile soil.

The woodland is peaceful yet is within easy reach of the A377 and Portsmouth Arms train station.

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.


Along the western fringe of Sampson Brake Wood are towering conifer trees planted in 1967. Species here include japanese larch and douglas fir and they have grown very well, providing the purchaser with a timber resource that can be used for small scale forestry and timber projects or sold on the open market.

The rest of the woodland was originally planted with sika spruce trees in 1968 with areas along the eastern boundary a more naturalised mix of native broadleaved trees. Most of the spruce has now been cleared as part of the Ancient Woodland Restoration and in some areas trees including birch are regenerating well. The naturalised tree species include birch, beech, rowan and hazel.

In the central area of the woodland there is a grove of wild cherry trees that were planted in 1988


The mixed woodland habitat and stream provide an excellent mosaic of habitats for wildlife. The stream is a water source for resident mammals such as red and roe deer. Badgers also frequent the woodland. The stream that runs south to north through the central part of the woodland is an excellent habitat for frogs and water loving birds.


A rustic picnic bench is located in a lovely open glade, this is a great spot to sit for family picnics.

An old hedge bank runs along the eastern boundary with important older trees, ideal for helping spread seeds for new trees.

There is a small footbridge over the stream.

Access, tracks and footpaths

From the main road there is a tarmac drive that takes you to the shared entrance gate. Inside the gate there is a shared stone forestry track and good sized parking area.

Within the woodland itself there is a internal private track down through the western side of the woodland.

Over the stream there is a pedestrian track up to the centre of the woodland, where this connects to another track through the centre of the trees.

There are no public footpaths through this wood ensuring privacy.


Peaceful enjoyment of the woodland for occasional camping with family and friends is a perfect tonic to busy everyday life.

Wildlife aplenty is found within the woodland and surrounding area and can be observed by constructing a basic wildlife hide or by siting wildlife cameras to catch special wild moments.

Tree planting can be done within the recently clear pockets of conifer trees.

A forestry store could be installed subject to permissions required as a place for tools and equipment and to shelter during inclement weather.

Local area and history

Sampson Break Wood is well placed with many services nearby and is conveniently located to make visits around mid-Devon and see the north Devon coast. Unusually this is a woodland you can visit by train to reduce your "carbon footprint" - the Portsmouth Arms train station within a 10 minute walk! Portsmouth Arms station is part of the Tarka line which is famous for being one of the most beautiful train journeys in the country. It also links directly to Exeter. Even better is the fact that at the bottom of the main entrance which leads up to Sampson Break Wood is the Portsmouth Arms Inn, handily sited for refreshments after a day in your woodland.

If you fancy a treat as an alternative to camping, perhaps during colder weather, when visiting your woodland there is Northcote Manor country hotel within a 5 minute walk. You can also eat here in the evenings.

Sampson Break Wood is situated about 8 miles south from the busy town of Barnstaple which is the gateway to explore the rugged coast of north Devon with many beautiful beaches such as Westward Ho! and the surfing beaches of Croyde and Woolacombe. The City of Exeter is approximately 20 miles south and has many shops, the league one football team, Exeter City, and much history including an amazing cathedral and remains of the roman city wall.

Particulars and plans were prepared by our local manager, Stuart Brooking.

Wood maps

Wood map


All boundaries are indicated with blue markings on posts and trees.

The northern boundary is partly a line of posts and partly a small stream.

The eastern boundary is an old hedge bank along a meadow edge.

The southern boundary is indicated by a line of posts.

The western boundary is along the edge of the tarmac drive and shared access track/ parking area.

Find this wood


  • OS Landranger: OS No. 191
  • Grid ref: SS 629 192
  • Nearest post code: EX37 9LZ
  • GPS coordinates: 50.9503, -3.953

Location map


- Travelling from Exeter, follow the A377 Barnstaple road through Crediton.

- Continue on to the village of Eggesford and after about 5 miles you will enter the village of Portsmouth Arms.

- The entrance to the wood is opposite the Portsmouth Arms Inn via the tarmac drive shared with Northcote Manor Hotel.

- Follow the tarmac drive up the hill for about 300 metres, past the first gate immediately on the left, then passing another gate on the left until you you see a small 'woodlands for sale' sign on a post pointing left to a gate with another 'woodlands for sale' sign on the gate. This is the entrance.

- Park outside this gate, leaving the tarmac drive clear (the purchaser will be provided with a key for the gate) and climb carefully around this gate onto the access track.

- Follow this track down for about 40 metres, turning sharp left until you see a ride stop on your left with a 'Sampson Brake Wood' name sign on it. This is the entrance to the wood.

- To access the eastern side of the woodland go through the ride stop and walk down the track until you see a private pedestrian track on your right that heads over the stream via a small bridge and up to the main part of the woodland.

- From Barnstaple follow the A377 south towards Crediton.

- Pass the turn to Umberleigh and continue into the village of Portsmouth Arms.

- Turn right opposite the Portsmouth Arms Inn into the tarmac drive which leads to Northcote Manor. You will see a sign for the hotel and restaurant at this entrance. Then follow the directions to Sampson Brake Wood as above.

- Sampson Brake Wood is also conveniently positioned opposite Portsmouth Arms railway station, part of the 'Tarka line' that runs between Barnstaple and Exeter.

Satnav/GPS note: the postcode EX37 9LZ is for the point shown by the red dot on the location map.

How we support our buyers

Membership of the small woodland owners’ group

£300 for a woodland course of your choice

Free copies of our woodland book

One year's free membership of the royal forestry society

Please note this wood is owned by woodlands.co.uk.

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. Woodland Investment Management Ltd hereby give notice under section 21 of the Estate Agents Act 1979 of their interest in the land being sold.

A varied woodland with a stream that is currently part of an Ancient Woodland Restoration project.

Download PDF Details

Managed by Stuart Brooking

Telephone: 07801 789215

Email: [email protected]