Magdalen Wood West

Once part of the Royal Woods of Shotover, Magdalen Wood West (10.2ha) was more recently separated by the Easter Bypass. However it still shares the same ancient species of woodland, with small open glades.

Regularly visited by residents of Wood Farm who use the many footpaths within the wood or to visit the Magdalen Wood Dragon - a living woven sculpture. 

The woods are also accredited with SLINC and LNR status. 

How to get there

The main access is from Atkyns Road, Wood Farm, OX3 8RA where limited parking is available.

Other entrances can be found along Peppercorn Avenue and the Easter Bypass. 


It is thought that Magdalen College purchased the woods or known as 'Open Magdalen' in 1458 and in 1851 Richard Pether (the maternal grandfather of Lord Nuffield) became the leaseholder for 'Wood Farm' including  'Open Magdalen' shortly after.  

On 4 April 1934 Magdalen College sold Lord Nuffield all the lands of Wood Farm, including Open Magdalen, for £26,000. Nuffield agreed “at all times hereafter to preserve as a permanent open space or permanent spaces” the present Magdalen Wood. 

Oxford City council purchased the land and woods in the 1950s. The land became Wood Farm estate, but the woods remain open and accessible, in line with Lord Nuffield's agreement. 

Information courtesy of

Things to do

The woods provide opportunities to sit and relax, contemplate, read or to enjoy the wildlife.

Magdalen Wood Dragon

Unleash your creativity and visit the the living hazel dragon complete with a sculptured head. Installed as part of the Playful Woodlands Project (a partnership with Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire Play Association, funded by TOE2). Make up your own adventures and experiences or sit and enjoy the surroundings.

Volunteer in the woods

If you would like to get involved visit our Volunteering page.


Surveys and sightings within the wood have identified the following species:

  • Bluebells
  • Green Woodpecker
  • Song Thrush;
  • Eurasian Badger
  • Mistle Thrush
  • Dunnock
  • Corn Bunting
  • Fieldfare
  • Marsh Tit
  • Redwing
  • Bullfinch
  • Stock Dove
  • House Sparrow
  • Celandines
  • Wood anemone

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