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First published in The Potter May 2009
Text © Copyright John Heaton 2009

Barnswood Scout Camp


The area is located about 5 km North-West of Leek close to the A523 Macclesfield road in the parish of Rudyard, overlooking Rudyard Reservoir (but, I suspect, this is not visible from within the area).


The 1842 First edition OS map shows an area of woodland on the site called Barnswood Oaks. At that point the road running past the entrance on the eastern side of the area was the main turnpike road to Macclesfield. Later on in the century a new lower level turnpike was constructed along what is now the A523 to the West of the area. A track is shown going downhill from the old road to Barnswood Farm adjacent to what is now the A523. The first 100m of this track now constitutes the access to the Scout camp. Until recently this was overgrown and blocked with fallen trees. By the 1930s only a narrow strip of woodland adjacent to the A523 remained and the area remaining was shown as rough pasture. By 1949 and up to 1962 the map showed about 60% of the area wooded. The area today is shown as all woodland.

The Map

Barnswood covers 65 acres (about 800m × 400m) comprising a hill falling steeply some 60m towards the West and falling gradually some 40m to the East. The area can be split into two distinct areas. To the East on top and to the East of the hill is a patchwork of white, dark green and open ground. This is the area of new woodland. Most (some 23) of the patches of open are designated campsite area. To the West on the steeper slopes down to the A523 is mainly runnable forest, much with undergrowth, and with patches of light green.


The event in June [2009] is the first on the area. The map was drawn by Dave Peel at the end of last year principally to enable a permanent course be constructed for the scouts.

John Heaton