When Chorleywood was an Urban District Council, run from offices in Chorleywood House, road sweepings were deposited at the site near the football field. So it was that a dell became a mound, and a pretty unsightly one especially when fly-tippers took to dumping old mattresses and refrigerators; this continued for a while even after the official dump site moved elsewhere.
In 2002, rusting ironware was removed and a layer of topsoil imported and laid on top. Saplings were planted to make a mixed woodland, with a clearing at the centre. Some large trees had been suffocated by the rubbish around them, but a few dead trunks remain for the benefit of wildlife.
Volunteers have re-established the rainwater channel or leat which takes surface water from the parkland, through the wood to Dell Pond. After rainfall, the leat now becomes a delightful gurgling brook, which volunteers endeavor to keep clear from fallen leaves.
Several attempts have been made to introduce wild flowers to the area, but anything sowed seemed to get overwhelmed by grass or nibbled to extinction by rabbits. So in 2014, with advice from Janet Kelly, a botanist and wildflower specialist, volunteers meticulously weeded two areas, planted them with wildflower seed, watered them when dry, continued weeding as necessary and were rewarded in early summer by a magnificent display, which including cornflowers and poppies. We are hoping the plants will self-seed around the mound and be too sturdy for the rabbits, but will retain the wire surround for a while yet. Meanwhile a vigorous buddleia attracts butterflies, and there are ox-eye daisies, scabious, poppies and cornflowers; around the trees volunteers have planted snowdrops, primroses and wild cyclamen.
Walk over the mound and carefully follow a steep track through the wood then alongside the leat, and you will come to Dell Pond with its magnificent woodland sculptures.