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Stocksmoor Common Nature Reserve

Tree pipits and linnets sing from the trees in the young woodland at Stocksmoor Common Nature Reserve. Wavy hair-grass may be found in the acid grassland - a habitat produced by rough grazing which has been all but lost in the modern intensively-used landscape.


Broadly split into two parts the nature reserve is home to rough acid grassland, which covers approximately half of the area.

Moist for most of the year, one or two marshy areas exist within this grassland. Woodland has encroached on to the rest of the site, establishing after grazing ceased.

Mat grass, wavy hair-grass and tufted hair-grass dominate in the damper grassland areas – a plant community that demonstrates a halfway house between the extensively sheep-grazed uplands of the Pennines and the drier lowland acid grassland and heaths of the Vale of York. In the more grassy areas, adder’s tongue fern, common spotted orchid and common fleabane can be found.


Top Tip:


A stone’s throw away from Stoneycliffe Wood, make a day of it and combine a visit to the two in spring when these nature reserves will be at their flowery best.


The woodland is made up of pioneer birch, with oak, willow, gorse and hawthorn regenerating. This site is a good place to see a range of birds such as tree pipit, linnet, yellowhammer, willow tit and long-tailed tit.

In 1997 a new pond was dug and since then it has been gradually colonised by a range of invertebrates, which are an important feature of the nature reserve. Bracket fungi on the short-lived birch and the leaf litter that forms amongst the tufted hair-grass are just two of the micro-habitats that are important for a variety of beetles, flies and other types of insect. These in turn are fed upon by small mammals such as bank voles and wood mice, which themselves are food for foxes and tawny owls.

The Trust manages the site through a programme of grazing to keep down the coarse vegetation and invading scrub. Bracken is also controlled. The Trust has been involved on site since April 1965 when it was leased from Messrs Job Earnshaw and Bros. Limited.


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

Bus service to Midgley available from Wakefield.


Stocksmoor Common is situated five miles south west of Wakefield and not far from the M1. It is close to the village of Midgely. The B6117 runs alongside the nature reserve.





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

Stocksmoor Common Nature Reserve photos in our Flickr group



Nearby nature reserves

Stoneycliffe Wood Nature Reserve
1 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Stirley Community Farm
8 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Upper Park Wood Nature Reserve
8 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Stocksmoor Road
West Yorkshire
Map reference
SE 275 150
Great for...
a family day out
Best time to visit
May - Sep
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
11.90 hectares
Inaccessible to wheelchair users and pushchairs. Public permissive footpaths.
Walking information
Public permissive footpaths.
Parking in layby by the bus stop.
No dogs allowed
Grazing animals
Rare breed white park cattle graze the nature reserve
Reserve manager
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01904 659570


Factsheets and guides for your visit