Situated towards the edge of the Malham Tarn basin, Globe Flower Wood in late spring is a bright spot in a generally bleak and heavily grazed upland landscape.
Despite its small size, Globe Flower Wood is of great interest due to the high concentration of globe flowers and other tall herbs.
The yellow of the globe flowers creates a wonderful display, blooming alongside wood cranesbill and melancholy thistle. There is some large sycamores in the drier eastern corner of the nature reserve, whilst willow scrub with some hazel, alder and birch has developed in the wet area.
One of the Trust’s smallest nature reserve, Globe Flower Wood is also one of the Trust’s oldest, having been acquired in 1963. The farmer at the time had kept the area ungrazed because he liked the globe flowers and upon selling the farm, he wanted the flowers to be protected. The nature reserve is a triangular limestone walled enclosure largely composed of ungrazed, damp meadow fringed by various small willows. Due to its small size and wet nature, the nature reserve is a fragile site and while there is a step stile in the wall, there is no public access. Fortunately, the entire site can be viewed easily by looking over the wall.
Visit at the end of May or in early June, when the globe flowers are at their best.
Management is essentially to help this small area remain frozen in time, ready for the opportunity for the flowers to spread back into the surrounding area. Walls are kept stock proof, the willows are kept in check and invasive species such as nettle and rosebay willowherb are removed.
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The nearest train station is at Settle, with occasional buses to Malham.
From Settle take the B6479 to Langcliffe. Turn right onto New Street in Langcliffe village. Stay on this road as it becomes Henside Road. The nature reserve is about four miles from Langcliffe and a mile west of Malham Tarn.
Want to see more of Globe Flower Wood Nature Reserve before your visit? Have a look below.