Woodland Wellbeing Walks

A magical woodland pocket

Thorncombe Woods is hidden away, just 5 minutes from the town of Dorchester. The mixed woodland is famed for inspiring the young poet and novelist Thomas Hardy, who was born here and would often wander the wood, visiting places like ‘Black Heath’ and ‘Rushy Pond’.

The 26 hectare woodland and heath site has a range of trees with mature oaks, sweet chestnut, beech and hazel and is home to the much loved hazel dormouse. The site is a wildlife haven with dormice, bats, butterflies and a huge variety of songbirds and raptors.

Watch these videos to experience how the woodland comes alive with the noises, sights and, by proxy, smells of all the animals and plants. Claire, Thorncombe Woods ranger, spots things of interest as she wanders the woodland and explains more about them.

The story behind the videos

In Spring 2020, during the first lockdown, Thorncombe Woods rangers Claire and Kath, created some virtual walks and talks as a result of all our public events being cancelled. It was their innate urge to share the arrival of spring and so were keen to share their excitement as things continued life in the woodland. The comments and responses were so positive that it drove them to make more. They hope to bring a little bit of ‘wild inside’!

Want to enjoy more from Thorncombe Woods?

Thorncombe Woods walking guides

Enjoy walking around Thorncombe Woods with these guides showing a selection of routes to explore around the landscape that Thomas Hardy grew up in and was inspired by.

More videos from the team

The Rangers at Thorncombe Woods have been busy throughout the year and have loads of videos which you can enjoy from all the seasons. See them all on their Facebook page.

To the park

Picnic in the Parks has many more activities for you to enjoy. Head back to the map and explore the other zones.