Cobblers Hall Plantation is the woodland that is adjacent to the Cobblers Hall housing estate and on your left as you leave the town on the Middridge Road which runs north to Rushyford.
This site is wholly owned by Great Aycliffe Town Council.
This 8 hectare mixed mature woodland plantation varies in character throughout the wood. The area adjacent to the Middridge Road is dominated by Scots Pine with an understory of hawthorn, blackthorn, holly, cherry and sycamore. Deeper into the site the woodland becomes more varied with mature beech, ash and oak woodland.
Several areas of the site becomes waterlogged after prolonged periods of rain and so many examples of wetland plants and animals can also be found here including club and soft rush.
Due to its location away from housing developments this site has remained an isolated oasis for wildlife and provides a habitat for many plants, birds, insects and mammals such as great spotted woodpeckers, jays, frogs and grey squirrels.
The mature trees and damp environment provides ideal conditions for fungi growth, including stinkhorns. The foul-smelling slime that develops at the tip of the stinkhorn attracts flies which disperse the spores.
Trees that are dangerous are removed on an urgent basis. Occasionally standing dead wood is retained if the tree poses no threat to safety, this is to favour wildlife including many species of insects, birds such as woodpeckers and bats which regularly roost in holes and cracks in dead wood.
Much of the site is seasonally waterlogged; this can include routes of footpaths. Great Aycliffe Town Council will improve the access and drainage around these routes where possible. However, part of the character of this site is its wet location; therefore improved access will be an ongoing issue.
Great Aycliffe Town Council is unable to survey the site as often as they would like, if you see something that you feel the managers of the site should be aware of, then please contact the Environment Officer on (01325) 300700 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org