Welcome to Sladebank Woods

Sladebank Woods is a lovingly managed wildness close to Stroud town centre, in the heart of a lively neighbourhood. Just under five acres, it supports a wide range of trees, plants and wildlife. It features a small meadow and orchard and anyone is welcome to visit: there’s a public section open all year round where you can simply enjoy being in nature.

We hold regular events, and there are opportunities to help manage this important habitat as a volunteer. If you’d like to hold your own activity here, we offer indoor and outdoor spaces to hire by the hour. Our popular sauna, fuelled using our own wood, is the perfect way to unwind. Please explore our website to find out more.

See the woods at home

You may not be able to visit us at this time, so sit back and enjoy this footage of the woods filmed by drone during the winter.

Play Video

Aerial filming by Nick Mills (nick.mills@btinternet.com)

Who we are

Meet Martin and Kesty

The woods are owned and managed by Martin and Kesty Jakes, who are passionate about connecting people with nature. They met 30 years ago while working for the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers and bought Sladebank Woods, which is right on their doorstep, in 2000. Martin and Kesty cared for the woods while bringing up their two children, and continue to work towards making Sladebank Woods accessible for as many people as possible, to increase its diversity and create a resilient, sustainable and productive woodland for the future.

Martin and Kesty Jakes in woods in the autumn
"It was so good to spend time in the woods with friends"

Here for everyone

Sladebank Woods is right on the doorstep of our neighbours on Summer Crescent and Langtoft Road. It can be reached by a footpath from Summer Crescent Play Park (The Rec) and also from the wooden stile near the eastern end of Langtoft Road. The woods are here for everyone to enjoy. If you’ve never been in woodland before, we encourage you to take a look, join one of our events or contact us if you have any questions. Please be mindful during your visit of the residential area. Leave only footprints (and pawprints!); take only photographs. Some paths through the woods are rough and sometimes muddy – over the coming months we will be making the lower paths more accessible.

Local boy and mum walking through Sladebank Woods
Trees planted
woodland visitors
Open all year

Roe-meo & Juliet

We’ve been getting creative over the last few weeks. Trail cameras are being regularly sited as part of our Seeing the Woods project to capture seasonal images of what’s happening in the woods. Local creator Naomi Wilkinson has curated this short film, Roe-meo & Juliet, inspired by footage of roe deer in the woods. We hope you enjoy it.


Getting creative during lockdown

At the start of 2020 we knew we needed an updated website to sing the unique song of Sladebank Woods to our community near and far. In true Sladebank Woods style, we found that local talent popped up at just the right moment to help us make this happen.

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Dom Thomas with oyster mushrooms he grew on a sycamore stump in Sladebank Woods

Exploring Dom’s Mycological Research Station

In these strange times, we thought we’d start with a smile! Here’s Dom Thomas from Stroud’s Fungusloci project proudly showing oyster mushrooms that he grew on a sycamore stump in the woods as part of our Woodland Lab projects. Read on for the full story and to find out what’s happening in the fungi department right now.

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Future events

Boy woodworking

Woodland Wonder – September and October

We’re delighted that these creative sessions for disabled and non-disabled children will be returning to Sladebank Woods in the autumn. Children aged 5-11 and 11-14 will have the chance to enjoy creative play and activities that are artistic, constructive and inclusive.

Find out more »

Discover your woods

Get Involved

Sladebank Woods is here for everyone to enjoy and to get close to local nature. Find out how you’d like to get involved.

Soulful Sauna

Our popular sauna, fuelled using our own wood, is the perfect way to unwind. Suitable for individuals and groups of friends.

Venue Hire

The yurt and roundhouse are cosy indoor spaces, while there’s an Education Zone for larger outdoor events plus camping areas.

Thank you

Many local people and organisations support the woods with funding, time, energy, ideas and friendship. We would particulary like to acknowledge the following for their recent input.

Gloucestershire County Council logo
Active Impact logo
Barnwood logo