Chilton Wood is located at the end of a good hard track in the heart of the Dilston Woods. A small pond which teems with invertebrate life, is an attractive feature of the wood. Largely level throughout, the landscape is populated by a vigorous stand of deciduous larch. Unusually for a conifer, this species drops its leaves seasonally and ranges from a vibrant green in springtime to an autumnal golden yellow. Hawthorn and holly are scattered throughout the wood giving an important understorey habitat together with clumps of furze. Mosses and ferns abound, with sorrel and vetch providing seasonal pinpricks of colour amongst the burgeoning greens. Spikes of purple foxglove add further colour and together with entwining honeysuckle are a vital food source for bees and other insects. Mown paths give easy access and a small rustic bridge crosses a central drainage channel allowing the path to lead on and through the trees. A central drainage watercourse provides an additional and distinct landscape, supporting its own micro system of flora and fauna.
Mainly stocked with larch of around 60 to 80 years old, the wood has a scattering of holly, hawthorn and a few young birch.
A resident population of roe deer moves throughout the whole woodland and sightings within Chilton are not uncommon. A variety of small birds, tits, finches and the like, are supplemented by larger woodpeckers and jays. Mewling buzzards are regularly seen and heard through the open canopy.
The wood features a small pond which maintains a relatively constant level. Home to a large variety of aquatic invertebrates and amphibians. Mating season brings a selection of seemingly fragile bodied damsel flies, their iridescent bodies flashing hither and thither searching out a partner. A rustic bench is an excellent spot to sit-in on their busy lives.
Access, tracks and footpaths
Access into the wood is from the B6307 and then along a good hard track suitable for most cars. A timber stacking and turning area is the starting point for mown paths which lead throughout the wood.
Rights and covenants
Sporting rights are owned and included in the sale.
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.
The large amount of growing timber could be sustainably harvested as a domestic wood fuel source; this would also encourage a greater diversity of trees and flora to flourish in the space and light created.
An overnight camping stay is an attractive proposition, facilitating wildlife watching at the prime times of dusk and dawn.
Local area and history
The woods at Dilston were formerly part of the estate of the Radcliffes of nearby Dilston Hall. Now serving as a much more useful specialist further education college the hall was built to rival nearby 18th century mansions but was never completed. At the outbreak of the Jacobite Rebellion, work was suspended, never to be resumed. All that remains are the ruins of Dilston Castle, situated on the banks of the Devils water, a lively tributary of the River Tyne.
The name Chilton was chosen for the wood as recognition of the strong Roman influences in the area. A chilton was a long garment of wool or linen which roman men habitually wore.
Chilton Wood is part of a larger area of woodland which runs down to the River Tyne. The Tyne is considered to be England’s best salmon river which together with sea trout runs, gives the opportunity for excellent fishing. This is a quiet rural setting with many public footpaths with good walking. Nearby is Hadrian’s Wall with the more challenging Hadrian’s Wall Long Distance Path.
There is a growing interest in hut, bothy and temporary shelter building, especially in Scotland; for those interested in erecting a hut or shelter, here is some interesting and very helpful guidance from Reforesting Scotland’s Thousand Hut Campaign. Your Local Planning Authority should also be consulted.