SOLD: Hen Copse £87,500 Freehold

  • Brafferton, near Boroughbridge, Easingwold and Thirsk, North Yorkshire
  • over 5 ¼ acres
  • Northern England


Hen Copse is a planted ancient woodland site (PAWS), set in the middle of a larger forest, known as Brafferton Spring Wood.

With good access and a mix of tree species, Hen Copse has great appeal as an amenity woodland. It would be ideal for those who’d like a conservation project, perhaps thinning some of the young hemlock (fir) and birch trees and adding to the already diverse species range, which already includes some larger oak, beech and birch trees, younger birch and, planted around 15 years ago; alder, rowan, oak and cherry. There are also some old coppiced hazel and goat willow stools.

A watercourse runs north to south along the eastern boundary and, as it has water in it most of the year round, it is an important resource for local wildlife. There is quite a substantial clearing alongside the watercourse, with masses of bluebells and an oak-topped bench. It would be a fairly simple job to cut back the bracken and encourage the grasses and wildflowers in this area. The level ground means that this would make an ideal location for occasional family camping.

Permitted development consent is in place for a timber shed/store, to store essential forestry tools and equipment on site and to provide personnel shelter from adverse weather conditions. Size 6 x 4m by 3m high.

For families with children, lots of the birch is a great size to cut for pioneering poles and den-making. Paths throughout the wood make it perfect for ‘wild’ trails and games and many an hour could be lost, immersed in nature and imagining you are entering Narnia. (Other fantasy realms are possible!). Birch also makes great firewood, if the owner needs a domestic log supply.

In the autumn the wood erupts with fascinating fungi of all kinds, including the distinctive red and white fly agaric.

The purchasers of the woodland will be asked to enter into a covenant


There are some larger oak, beech and birch as well as younger broadleaved trees such as rowan, alder, cherry and willow.

Holly and hemlock trees are also present, giving excellent and useful evergreen cover for birds and animals, as well as privacy for the woodland owner.


Hen Copse is pulsating with birdsong in the spring. With a multitude of nesting sites for all types of woodland bird, they thrive within the cover, as well as about the sunny clearings.

Roe deer and brown hare like to make beds in the drier spots under the conifers and amongst the bracken and ferns: buzzards are frequently overhead and often are seen alighting from trees alongside the watercourse. Sparrow hawks, hunt through the wood and you occasionally find a stump that has been used as their dinner table, surrounded by a circle of feathers...... Tawny owls can often be heard too.


  • Water course on the eastern boundary
  • Larger oak and beech trees
  • Young fir trees give privacy
  • Bench overlooking a glade – ideal for camping

Access, tracks and footpaths

A good stone track leads all the way to the ride-stop entrance at the south-western corner of Hen Copse. This track continues on, forming the western and then the northern boundaries of the wood and a right of access is given along the length of the woods boundaries.

A grassy track lays within the wood, inside the southern edge, leading from the ride-stop and all the way up to the drain at the eastern boundary. This route also gives easy access to the glade.

Several internal paths provide a network of interconnecting routes.

Rights and covenants

The sale of Hen Copse includes the sporting rights

There are no public rights of way within the wood, or indeed within the wider forest.


Hen Copse is an ideal wood for family forestry, allowing conservation minded families to get away from everyday life and immerse themselves in nature, whether that be craft projects, camping, gathering firewood, bird-watching or perhaps some woodland management to enhance the age structure and species mix in the wood.

A survey and report covering Hen Copse has been prepared by the Woodland Trust, making some suggestions for future management of the wood, as an ancient woodland site. There is no obligation to undertake any of the recommendations but it may be useful for the new owner if they view the wood as an ongoing project.

Local area and history

The Boroughbridge area is steeped in history. When the Romans settled the north of England they established a major centre at Aldborough, on the route of a long-distance road known as Dere Street. When the Normans conquered the same area some 1100 years later they changed the course of Dere Street to cross the River Ure at a more convenient spot. A settlement grew up around the bridge and this new settlement became the town of Boroughbridge, from the words 'borough on the bridge'.

To the west of Boroughbridge are the so-called Devil's Arrows; three huge prehistoric standing stones.

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. 99
  • Grid ref: SE 454 716
  • Nearest post code: YO61 2SE
  • GPS coordinates: 54.1385, -1.30634

Location map


Hen Copse is just 20 miles from York, 15 miles from Ripon, 26 miles from Harrogate and 6 miles from Boroughbridge.

For Directions From Bing Maps CLICK HERE, enter your own postcode (wood entrance coordinates are already entered) and click on the blue "Go" box.

For Satnav; the postcode YO61 2SE is for the point shown by the red dot on the location map and coordinates are: N54:07:54 and W1:17:58

Or use our directions:

From the A1

  • Exit the A1 at junction 48 and follow signs Ripon and Dishforth on to the A 6055
  • At the next roundabout take the third exit on to Roecliffe Lane.
  • Follow this road until you give way at a T junction and then turn left.
  • Continue over the river and at the canal bridge roundabout take the second exit.
  • Take the first right turn to Milby.
  • Continue on this road until required to give way at a T junction and then turn right over Thornton bridge.
  • Continue along this road into Brafferton and at the give way T junction turn left.
  • Follow West Moor Road for about 1 mile until you reach the Woodlands for Sale sign on the left.

From York via the A19:-

  • Just after the Easingwold roundabout take the left turn signed for Raskelf / Tholthorpe / Helperby
  • Follow the road into Raskelf and at the cross roads in the centre of Raskelf turn right on to West Moor Road.
  • Follow West Moor Road until you reach the Woodlands for Sale sign on your right.

Please park near to our gate but please do leave it clear for access.

  • Climb the gate and walk along the access track for about 300 metres. Where the track forks, after the huts near the entrance, take the left fork and follow the main track round a right hand bend, continue straight on to the for about 500m. Hen Copse is on your right.

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.

Home to tawny owls and sparrow hawks, Hen Copse is a private woodland, with a very pleasant mix of beech, birch and oak trees as well as some conifers. Ideal for family forestry and occasional camping, surrounded by fantastic nature.

Managed by Liz Watson

Telephone: 07985 548481

Email: [email protected]