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Chafer Wood Nature Reserve

Bluebells, ramsons and other woodland pants offer a tapestry of colour in this idyllic mixed broadleaved woodland nature reserve. The sounds of twigs snapping during an early morning stroll through this peaceful valley may alert you to passing roe deer. The views from the top of the wood across the Vale of Pickering are stunning.


Chafer Wood supports an interesting variety of habitats, home to a wide range of plants and birds.

The shaded lower parts of the valley are rarely exposed to sunlight and are therefore covered in delicate ferns and mosses. By the stream running through the nature reserve, woodland plants such as bluebells, baneberry, goldilocks buttercup and leopard’s bane can be found, whilst a carpet of wild garlic (ramsons) fills the air with an oniony fragrance during the spring.

Roe deer are very much in evidence on the site and may well be encountered on a quiet stroll. Rare species of cranefly also thrive, as conditions in the valley bottom create the perfect habitat in which to breed. Birds you might come across include nuthatch, redstart, blackcap, green and great spotted woodpeckers.

In addition to the woodland there are areas of limestone grassland that form small open glades within the trees.


Top Tip:


Visit early on a mid-May morning to see and hear the singing redstarts.


Before Yorkshire Wildlife Trust took ownership of the site some areas had been used as a plantation, evident by small populations of introduced trees like sycamore and larch. Management by the Trust is focussed on removing these introduced tree species and replanting with native species which are then protected from deer and rabbit damage. Bracken is managed by cutting so it does not encroach and shade out other pants, whilst the open areas of limestone grassland are strimmed once or twice a year with the cuttings raked up to create habitat piles for insects to use.

Some historical interest remains on the site, including an ancient pinfold near the entrance which has been restored by the Trust. A 200 years old structure, known as King Alfred’s Carin also exists, although excavation in the 1950s of the cave beneath revealed human remains dating back to Neolithic times.


Discover Yorkshire’s Wildlife

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Discover Yorkshire’s Wildlife book, which has detailed information on all of Yorkshire Wildlife and Sheffield Wildlife Trust’s reserves, is available to buy now from our online shop.


Public Transport

The nearest train station is at Scarborough. A bus runs through Ebberston along the A170.


Take the A170 Pickering road to the village of Ebberston. The nature reserve is north of the village, off a quiet lane.





Want to see more of Chafer Wood Nature Reserve before your visit? Have a look below.

Chafer Wood Nature Reserve photos in our Flickr group



Nearby nature reserves

Ellerburn Bank Nature Reserve
3 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Harland Mount Nature Reserve
8 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Burton Riggs Nature Reserve
8 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Just north of the village of Ebberston
North Yorkshire
YO13 9PA
Map reference
SE 899 832
Great for...
a family day out
historical interest
stunning views
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
28.47 hectares

Public and permissive footpaths. Contact the Trust for disabled access information
Walking information
Public and permissive footpaths. Please keep all dogs on leads.
Limited roadside parking available.
Dogs must be on lead
Reserve manager
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01904 659570


Factsheets and guides for your visit