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Ilkley Moor and surrounding area
Ilkley Moor lies to the south of the town of Ilkley and forms part of the extensive Rombalds Moor in the Pennines of Yorkshire.
The open moorland consists of heather and bilberry with bracken and areas of grassland and there are two small tarns. Lower down there is scrub and patches of trees with more extensive woodlands at nearby Middleton. These are ancient woods in the valley of the River Wharfe with oak, birch and hawthorn as well as some boggy areas and streams. There is a good selection of moorland and woodland birds to be found here in a relatively small area.
 Notable Species
Red Grouse are common and easily found but the breeding waders are scarce and can be more difficult, Golden Plover and Northern Lapwing, Dunlin, Common Snipe, Eurasian Curlew and Common Redshank all nest on this moorland. Short-eared Owl is present in summer but rare and Common Kestrel breeds on local crags.
Hen Harrier is usually present in winter but apart from the resident grouse there are few birds on these bleak upland moors at this time of year.
The woodlands, particularly Middleton Woods, are rich in birds with resident Little Owl and Tawny Owl, Eurasian Sparrowhawk and Common Kestrel, Woodcock and all three British woodpeckers. Eurasian Nuthatch and Common Treecreeper are also common residents along with five species of tit and, although rare, Hawfinch is also present.
These birds are joined in summer by Common Redstart, Pied Flycatcher and Spotted Flycatcher and warblers including Wood Warbler, Willow Warbler and Common Chiffchaff, both Common Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler and Blackcap. Common Cuckoo and Tree Pipit are found in the woodland-moor fringe areas and Common Dipper and Grey Wagtail are sometimes seen on local streams and rivers.
Birds you can see here include:
Mallard, Tufted Duck, Hen Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Kestrel, Red Grouse, Grey Partridge, Common Pheasant, Eurasian Golden Plover, Northern Lapwing, Dunlin, Common Snipe, Eurasian Woodcock, Eurasian Curlew, Common Redshank, Stock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Little Owl, Tawny Owl, Short-eared Owl, Common Cuckoo, Common Swift, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Northern House Martin, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Common Wren, Common Dipper, Dunnock, Eurasian Robin, Whinchat, Common Redstart, Northern Wheatear, Ring Ouzel, Eurasian Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Wood Warbler, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Long-tailed Tit, Marsh Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch, Common Treecreeper, Common Jay, Common Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Brambling, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Siskin, Eurasian Linnet, Lesser Redpoll, Common Bullfinch, Hawfinch, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting
 Other Wildlife
 Site Information
 History and Use
There is a long history of man using the moor. On the northern edge of the moor (SE 095 470) is the Swastika Stone, which dates back to the Iron Age, along with many other cup marked stones. The Twelve Apostles stone circle (SE126452) dates back to 1800 BC, and is believed to be an observatory for both the winter and summer solstices.
 Areas of Interest
 Briery Wood & Hebers Ghyll
Briery Wood and Hebers Ghyll are worth exploring for woodland and stream birds and can be reached by following the main street through the town westwards and heading left into Grove Road and then Hebers Ghyll Drive. From here footpaths lead into the woodland and beside the stream.
 Middleton Woods
For Middleton Woods turn north from Ilkley town centre into New Brook Street, cross the bridge and turn right at the sports ground and follow the road to a small parking space opposite a footbridge. From here there are several woodland trails to follow.
 Access and Facilities
The town of Ilkley lies north-west of Leeds on the A65 road to Skipton. To explore the moor and tarns leave the town's main street on Wells Road, turning left into Crossbeck Road and parking in the car-park by the college.
A path from here leads to the larger of the two tarns and further footpaths lead up onto the moors.
Alternatively, continue on the main road and turn left into a "No Through Road" which leads uphill to an area of common land and the moors.
 Contact Details
 External Links
Content and images originally posted by Steve