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.
Aerial filming by Nick Mills (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Discover your woods
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.