Located near the centre of Houghton Conquest village, Conquest Wood is 8 hectares of new community woodland, planted on a former arable field during the winter of 2004/5. The site has a compact feel, looking out towards Wilstead across an open, intensively farmed landscape; with the well wooded slopes of the Greensand Ridge dominating the scene to the south and east.
Over 14,000 native trees and shrubs were planted at Conquest Wood, many by children from the village school. Main species include oak, ash, birch and hazel. The site was also sown with a native grass and wildflower mix, with birds-foot trefoil, ox-eye daisy and greater knapweed producing a show of colour through the summer, and a rich source of pollen and nectar for insects such as marbled white and skipper butterflies.
Conquest Wood is accessible to pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and mobility vehicle users at all times, with a surfaced circular route of around 1 kilometre, and a network of mown grass trails and recreation areas. Entry is from Chapel End Road, opposite the recreation ground and Broadway, with access also possible via a farm track off London Lane. Information boards, picnic tables, benches and other features are also available to help users make the most of their visit. Road side parking is possible in the village.
Conquest Wood’s new habitats provide a diverse environment in which wildlife is already thriving. resident skylark, great tit, goldfinch and other small birds take advantage of the abundance of insects and fruits; whilst kestrel and the occasional short-eared owl can be seen hunting for small mammals such as field voles, which live in abundance within rough grassy undergrowth, which they share with visiting brown hares and grey partridge.