The woods are recorded as a deer park on the Saxton map of 1579, so in a likelihood it had been in existence for much long this. As these were the first comprehensive mapping of England these effectively define what is an ancient woodland – i.e. in England and Wales they are woods that have been existence continually since 1600.  Ancient woodlands account for less than 2.5% of the area of the UK so must be cherished and maintained.