Woods and wildlife

Woods and wildlife

Our forests have adventure play areas, natural play, off-road family cycling and lots of space for imaginations to run wild.

Enjoy a tree-filled trek to the spectacular Aysgarth Falls in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. There are three tiers to the falls which make for a truly wonderful spectacle.

Brockadale Nature Reserve near Pontefract has miles of woodland walking trails and a riverside path along the River Went. You can reach the reserve by following a footpath along the river from the nearby village of Wentbridge or from the car park on Leys Lane. At the reserve you can visit the steep sided gorge of the River Went with its craggy cliffs and interesting vegetation. Nestled between Leeds, York and Wakefield, Fairburn Ings is truly a haven for people and wildlife alike. There’s something for the whole family, from feeding the ducks to pond dipping; you can even take on the Wildlife Challenge. Why not recharge the batteries while the kids let off some steam in the play area? Winding trails pass through woodland, wetland and grassland.

Wonderful Wildlife

Situated right at the heart of South Yorkshire’s Dearne Valley, Old Moor is a wonderful place to go and watch wildlife.

The skies, fields and open water are teeming with birds throughout the year. In summer the grasslands are ablaze with butterflies and orchids and you’ll be able to see newly hatched ducklings. With guided walks and family activities, as well as home-cooked food in the café and a well-stocked shop, the reserve is a great day out for young and old alike.

Exploring the woodland along the River Wharfe where it flows through a spectacular, narrow gorge, is a splendid experience at any time of the year at Strid Wood, Bolton Abbey. The round trip from the estate’s Sandholme car park heads along one side of the river to Barden Bridge, then returns via the path on the opposite bank.

Forest Retreats

If you just can’t pull yourself away from the forest, get back to nature and explore the amazing woodland that surrounds you with a cabin break at Forest Holidays at Cropton and Keldy on the edge of the North York Moors National Park. An ideal base for adventures, exploring or simply relaxing, with the woodland walks leading you through the beautiful ancient forest! Why not try their Forest Ranger activities? Or hire a bike and find the perfect picnic spot for you and the family.

Discover Dalby

North Yorkshire is a tremendous place for woodland walks. There are hiking trails to suit all in Dalby Forest.

Enjoy paths leading to the amazing natural sandstone sculptures of the Bridestones, a forest nature reserve on the Deepdale Habitat Trail.

Starting at the Dalby Courtyard near the Visitor Centre, the Ellerburn Trail is a multi-user pathway for disabled cyclists, walkers and wheelchair users as well as being a safe and accessible route for children learning to ride a bike and parents with pushchairs. The trail runs alongside Ellerburn Beck. A short detour takes you to Ellerburn Pond and Bird Hide past the entrance to the bat hibernaculum (an artificial cave where bats can spend the winter).