Based on an original report by George Walthew (up dated January 2015 by David Cromack)
Small pen & ink Map
Southey wood The site lies west of Peterborough Close to Castor Hanglands NNR Southey Wood's car park lies off the minor road (designated Langley Bush Road on Streetmap) at TF109023 (nearest postcode for sat-nav users is PE6 7EN).
Large car park, a few picnic benches and a central crushed stone track suitable for wheelchair users. There is an extensive network of single-track paths, but be aware that where the canopy cover is dense, the ground can remain boggy throughout the year (particularly where horses have been ridden) and it is less easy to see birds compared to the extra wide main track.
From Bretton on the western edge of Peterborough take the unclassified road past the crematorium and the village of Marholm in the direction of Ufford. Pass the first cross roads (leading to Helpston on the right and Castor on the Left), then turn left at the second cross roads and continue for half a mile to the wood on your right. There is a gated entrance (locked at night) which leads to the car park - watch out for deep puddles in places.
Southey Wood is a mixed woodland which is managed by the Forestry Commission. A variety of trees have been planted including Oak, Beech, European Larch, Corsican and Scotts pine, with a good ground cover in places.
The wood is particularly good for conifer loving birds such as Coal Tits and Goldcrests and it is still possible to see the increasingly elusive Marsh Tit here.
Expect to see a range of other small birds such as Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Blue and Great Tits, Treecreepers and Blackbirds, together with Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers and Jays. Wood Pigeons are particularly prominent and two Ravens were heard calling towards dusk (Jan 2015).
While Southey Woods remains the most reliable place in the area to see Crossbills, be aware that this species can be elusive, so keep your ears open for their distinctive 'chup chup' calls or the sound of discarded pine cones dropped to the ground.