Back to reserve map

Hollinhurst Wood

Hollinhurst Wood and meadow is home to a diverse number of plant and tree species, the mix of habitats making it attractive to both damp tolerant and dry acid grassland species. Summer brings a wonderful show of colour as devil's-bit scabious, meadowsweet and wild angelica amongst others come into bloom.

The name Hollinhurst Wood comes from the word 'hollin' which refers to the abundance of holly trees in the area. Hollies were often planted as a supply of winter feed for livestock. 

In medieval times the meadow area at Hollinhurst Wood was used for growing food and ploughed using an oxen pulled plough. If you visit the woodlands you will see the undulating broad ridge and furrow pattern left behind from this farming method. 

The underlying geology of the site is the middle coal measures. Evidence of past coal extraction is visible in the form of small craters left throughout the woodland and meadow. This is the result of shallow extraction of coal by the digging of bellpits in the past.  

The range of woodland species indicate that the wood is quite old as it contains oak, birch, wych elm and hazel, crab apple, guelder rose and field maple. The meadow area is important for its combination of marshy, damp loving plants and drier acid grassland species more typical of upland regions. 

The woodland and meadow are designated as a 'Site of Geological or Ecological Importance'; SEGI's are regionally important sites for nature conservation or geological interest. Hollinhurst Wood and meadow have been designated for the range of plants present in the meadow and the woodland. 

Semi-natural woodland is present around the southern and eastern sides of Hollinhurst Wood and this contains a good range of tree and shrub species, including oak, wych elm and hazel, crab apple, guelder rose and field maple. Willow can be found in the damper areas, whilst hawthorn and blackthorn form the main components of an intermittent hedgerow which borders part of the site. 

The meadow supports a combination of both damp tolerant plants and drier acid grassland species, which are still influenced by ridge and furrow marks left by Medieval farmers. The damper soils present within the furrows support a range of species which favour wetter soil and include meadowsweet, wild angelica, devil's-bit scabious, common fleabane and sneezewort. The drier conditions along the ridges attract plants such as sheep's sorrel, sheep's fescue, harebell and tormentil. 

Public Transport:

Nearest train station is at Woodlesford, 3 miles from Hollinhurst Wood. Buses run from Leeds Rail Station to Leeds Road in Great Preston, a short walk away from the woods.



From the north, leave the M1 South at Junction 46 onto the A63 (Selby Road). Take the second right onto the A642 (Wakefield Road), then a left in Swillington onto Astley Lane. Carry on this road for just over a mile until you reach Wood Lane on your left. 

Species and habitats

Meadow, Woodland
Skylark, Linnet, Cuckoo, Hedgehog, Noctule Bat

Nearby nature reserves

Owl Wood and Pit Plantation
1 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
The Lines Way
1 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Townclose Hills Nature Reserve
1 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Wood Lane Hollinhurst
West Yorkshire
LS26 8AW
Map reference
SE 403 288
Great for...
geological interest
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
10.50 hectares

Dogs allowed
Reserve manager
Tel: 01904 659570