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Hetchell Wood Nature Reserve

From Opus

Photo by Keith DickinsonOne of the paths within Hetchell Wood.
Photo by Keith Dickinson
One of the paths within Hetchell Wood.


[edit] Overview

An 11.74 hectare mixture of woodland / coppice and grassland on the outskirts of Leeds, Yorkshire. Geologically the reserve straddles the boundary between Magnesian Limestone to the East and Millstone Grit to the West. This leads to an interesting mix of plants on the reserve, limestone specialists to the Eastern higher ground whilst the lower ground to the West has mainly lime hating species. To a certain extent this also affects the bird fauna, some species being found only on one side of the reserve.

Photo by Keith DickinsonLooking North across the grassland
Photo by Keith Dickinson
Looking North across the grassland

[edit] Birds

[edit] Notable Species

Blackcap has to be the most notable bird on the reserve - there are several breeding pairs each year and they are surprisingly confiding in the coppiced areas.

[edit] Rarities

A local rarity that is occasionally found on the reserve is the Willow Tit, it is most often seen early morning towards the Northern end of the reserve. The other rarity for the reserve is the Grey Partridge, a bird which has suffered a catastrophic population fall in recent years. The coppiced areas seem to have attracted birds onto the reserve in the last few years.

[edit] Check-list

Birds you can see here include:

Mallard, Grey Partridge, Common Pheasant, Red Kite, Common Buzzard, Black-headed Gull, Feral Pigeon, Common Wood Pigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Cuckoo, Tawny Owl, Common Swift, Great Spotted Woodpecker, European Green Woodpecker, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Jay, Eurasian Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Coal Tit, Willow Tit, Eurasian Blue Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Long-tailed Tit, Willow Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Eurasian Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Goldcrest, Eurasian Wren, Eurasian Nuthatch, Eurasian Treecreeper, Eurasian Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, European Robin, Dunnock, Common Chaffinch, Eurasian Bullfinch, European Greenfinch, Common Linnet, European Goldfinch, Yellowhammer

[edit] Other Wildlife

Roe Deer, Red Fox, Rabbit, Grey Squirrel, Common Carder Bee, White-tailed Bumble Bee, Brimstone butterfly, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Large White Butterfly, Gatekeeper

[edit] Site Information

This is a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Reserve. The reserve is actively managed by Leeds Coppice Workers, who are encouraging regeneration of the understorey by the rotational cutting back of the hazel and other shrubs along with the erection of a deer proof fence around the newer coppiced areas to help with the new growth getting established.

[edit] History and Use

The Southern part of the reserve holds two old limestone quarries and just outside the reserve area to the South is an area of earthworks from Roman lead mining known locally as Pompocali.

[edit] Areas of Interest

The area immediately by the gate at the SE corner of the reserve is one of the main areas for Blackcap with at least one nesting pair every year. The Western edge of the reserve follows Bardsey Beck and as such the area is quite marshy in places. This gives rise to good levels of marshland plant species, whilst the grassland on the Eastern side of the reserve is managed as flower meadows and has good numbers of limestone loving plant species.

[edit] Access and Facilities

Within 10 miles of the centre of Leeds.

Buses from Leeds to Wetherby that travel along the A58 stop just by the old railway line at Bardsey which can be used to access the reserve from the SW corner.

Car drivers can use the car parking area to the East of the reserve on Milner Lane, they can enter the reserve via the SE corner or walk down the bridleway to the entrance at the SW corner.

The reserve is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties as the paths are uneven and often boggy, there is a steep climb on a very uneven path at the Northern end of the Reserve. There are no facilities on the reserve

[edit] External Links


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