Piggy Wood is a locally important ancient woodland that provides a green space within an urban setting. The woodland is located in the Quelm Park Estate, in the Parish of Warfield.
A suggestion for the name of the site comes from the time of the Reformation, where the term 'pig' was a derogatory term for a priest. To escape from persecution, priests from Hurley Church were said to have hidden in the wood (per R. Seward).
Once surrounded by open agricultural land, the wood and wildlife corridor are now enclosed in residential housing developed in the mid 1990s. The site was adopted by the borough council in 1998.
Piggy Wood is featured on Great Places for Circular Walks.
Piggy Wood is designated as a Local Nature Reserve and a Local Wildlife Site for its high wildlife value.
Piggy Wood is part of The Cut Countryside Corridor, which is a group of public open spaces currently undergoing enhancement works as a Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace. This is to create an enjoyable natural environment for recreation, away from the Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area.
How to get to Piggy Wood
The entrance to Piggy Wood is located off Newport Drive, Warfield.
Roadside parking is available - approximately - RG42 2QN.
OS Ref: SU872 707
Pedestrian access into the wood is possible from an entrance at Howell Close, and through the wildlife corridor from Newport Drive.
Pedestrian access is also possible along wildlife corridor past Quelm Lane and across to Harvest Ride near the balancing pond, where pedestrian gates are present at each road crossing point. Paths are hoggin surface.
Kennel Lane path links the road of the same name to Coney Grange at the northern end, with a tarmac pedestrian path feeding in from the new housing mid-way along the path. Path surface is mud and woodchip, becoming muddy and difficult after poor weather.
During the spring, the wood is covered by a colourful carpet of wildflowers including bluebells, white wood anemone and yellow wood avens.
If you look carefully, damsel and dragonflies can also be seen flying close to the tributary of The Cut.