Following our success at Sylvan Nature Reserve, we were delighted to acquire our 111 acre (45 ha) site at Bank Woods, just outside Summerbridge, near Harrogate, in 2017, for a much bigger habitat creation project. This land is very different to Sylvan, having steep gradients, and several different types of existing habitat, including semi-improved pasture, gorse and upland scrub, waterlogged grassland, several small streams and three areas of wonderful ancient woodland, with many veteran trees. We also have a small historic stone barn which is currently in need of repairs to its roof, although the resident barn owl doesn’t seem to mind! Old maps show a fort on the highest part of the land, and this may well date from the Iron-age. There is nothing to see on the ground, but we are looking forward to discovering, with the help of local archaeologists, more about what may lie beneath.
We have proposals to plant new woodlands at Bank Woods, with support from The Woodland Trust and The Forestry Commission. The main areas for planting will be along our boundaries, and between our ancient woodlands. Bank Woods is in Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Bank Woods is located just south of Summerbridge, on the B6165. It is open to the public, but please note there is currently no public vehicular access. Walkers are most welcome, and there are footpaths around the site. We are keen to welcome groups to our site by prior arrangement. If you would like to bring a school or similar group, for bird watching, nature walk, forest school or similar activity, please contact us. We can arrange access for a small number of vehicles. Subject to planning permission we hope to improve the vehicular access and provide limited off-road parking during 2018. Summerbridge is on the bus route between Harrogate and Pateley Bridge. The grid reference is SE 20455 61680