Michael’s Wood was planted in the late 1880’s in the heart of the Cholderton Estate by the Victorian entrepreneur and polymath Henry Charles Stephens who had created the estate through the purchase of several farms and parcels of land on the Hampshire Wiltshire border.  Michael’s Wood is named after Stephens’ son.

The Estate has remained in the family of its creator, ‘Inky’ Stephens, whose family name will always be linked with the famous ‘blue black’ ink.  Today’s owner, Henry Edmunds FRES, Stephens’ great grandson, took over the Estate in 1975 on the death of his father.

The 1987 hurricane severely depleted the centre of Michael’s Wood but left the fringes intact. When it had been cleared of fallen trees and landscaped the central area presented a beautiful tranquil environment. It seemed a natural extension of the estate’s commitment to conservation to devote the area to a woodland burial site.

Woodland Burial Ground

The outer fringe of the wood forms a dense screen of Hawthorn, Blackthorn and Hazel and is surrounded by open fields. It doesn’t matter what time of the year you visit the wood it is always stunning and you are greeted by the sound of many different types of bird. Planted daffodils provide early colour in the spring followed by the wild flowers that occur naturally.

The family owned Cholderton Estate is fully organic working farming enterprise. Nevertheless, great attention is paid to the preservation of wildlife habitats and the promotion of biodiversity. Michael’s Wood is an extension of the estate’s commitment to the environment.