Charles Ackers Redwood Grove and Naylor Pinetum

The forest at Leighton contains one of the most famous and historically significant stands of trees in the UK. The cathedral-like stand of towering coast redwoods was planted in 1857 and still stands today, unthinned and healthy.


Charles Ackers purchased the site in 1931 and was so impressed by the redwoods that he planted more. He then generously gifted the woods to the RFS in 1958 under the agreement that the Old Grove would be protected. The work at Leighton now focuses on maintaining the redwoods and the neighbouring Naylor Pinetum. Started in 1961, the Pinetum contains over 100 specimens and many wild-flowers. Although the Old Grove remains unthinned, some minor work takes place in other parts of the wood for the maintenance and to ensure the trees grow healthily.

There is also a chalet made from locally grown timber, and winner of the prestigious Timber Trades Award for the best use of softwoods out-of-doors nationwide in 2002.

Leighton Redwoods Today

Unfortunately Leighton is no longer open to the public due to serious damage that was being caused by anti-social behaviour. Access is still available for local residents by arrangement and RFS members only. Please do not park in the surrounding villages.

Members can contact for access. If you’re not a member but would like to help us protect this special place please Join Us!