Know before you go
Parking informationParking is very limited alongside the stile, or before the corner on the minor road from Chesterwood (nearest postcode for sat nav NE47 6HN). When parking on the roadside please take care not to cause an obstruction.
Grazing animalsNo but cows and sheep are often present in the adjoining field.
There is no footpath leading to the reserve, but a grass path of varying width runs through the site. There is a fairly steep bank to be negotiated on entering the site. A level bridge crosses the Honeycrook Burn just after entering the reserve.
Access to the wood is gained via a wall stile alongside a minor road (OL43 NY819654), and across a field to its southern edge where there is a wide 5-bar gate into the reserve. It is possible to enter through a single gate at the northern end of the reserve, but there is no public right of way to or from this point. The field leading to the reserve is uneven and boggy in places. Once in the reserve, the path is relatively flat but can be muddy in places and blocked at one point by fallen trees.
When to visit
Best time to visitAll year round
About the reserve
This small reserve lies downstream of an old lead mine and supports a good variety of woodland species and a number of uncommon invertebrates. Also of importance are the extensive deadwood habitats.
The south end of the reserve has an open area of rough grassland. The canopy is dominated by oak together with hazel and bird cherry. There is a fairly rich ground flora including wood cranesbill, opposite-leaved golden saxifrage, wild garlic, bluebell, dog's mercury, wild arum, early purple orchid, wood sanicle and sweet woodruff. Of particular note are toothwort and herb paris. Several species of locally uncommon beetle have been recorded on the reserve.
Bird life of particular note are the tawny owl, barn owl and great spotted woodpecker. Red squirrels and roe deer have been recorded on the reserve and a badger sett is in existence. In the early 1900's the woodland was cut for timber so there are few large trees remaining for hole-nesting species. Sections have also been coppiced in the past, which has influenced the field layer. Non-native species have been introduced into parts of the woodland and some have had detrimental effects on the shrub and field layers and their attendant faunas. Many of the elms on the site have been destroyed by Dutch elm disease, leaving large gaps in the canopy.