Appleton Common

 
Appleton Upper and Lower Common

Appleton Common, both Upper and Lower, is privately owned by a combination of the Blackwells and Gows and the Lower Common with a section owned by the Parish. Whilst there are no public footpaths in the Upper Common, there are two public footpaths in the Lower Common and the Upper Common is open to the parish between Good Friday and Easter Monday each year.

 

Appleton Lower Common

Appleton Lower Common, the woodland between the Netherton Road and the River Thames, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is an area of broadleaf ancient woodland. This means it has been continuously wooded since at least 1600 AD when James 1 ruled England.

In 2009 the Forestry Commission agreed a Woodland Management Plan with the owners of the Common, David Gow of West Farm, Eaton, to carry out thinning of the woodland over five years. The work commenced in June 2009. Appleton Lower Common has a canopy of ash and oak trees with a range of coppiced trees and shrubs including wych elm, field maple and ash. Amongst a rich variety of shrubs is the rare mezereon. Woodland flowers found here include early purple orchid, sanicle, bluebell and primrose. The wood supports a good variety of insects, including the white admiral butterfly and lower plants (mosses, liverworts, lichens and fungi). Removing many of the spindly trees will enable the remaining trees to grow and eventually produce quality timber in an estimated 50 years time.