Hollinhurst Wood Nature Reserve
Know before you go
Various woodland paths and paths across the meadow.
There is a network of paths around the site, however not suitable for wheelchair users. Paths are often muddy.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitApril to September
The woodland and meadow are designated as a 'Site of Geological or Ecological Importance' for the range of plants present in the meadow and the woodland. The meadow area is important for its combination of marshy, damp loving plants and drier acid grassland species more typical of upland regions. Woodland species include oak, birch, wych elm, 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, creating an attractive habitat for birds.
In the spring a stunning array of bluebells can be seen throughout the woodland. The range of plant species supported by the meadow 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.
Hollinhurst Wood is part of the green corridor in the Lower Aire Valley in Leeds owned by Leeds City Council and managed in partnership with the Trust.
- Spring: Plants - Wood anemone; Bluebells; Birds - Chiffchaff; Blackcap
- Summer: Plants - Devil's-bit scabious; Sneezewort; Harebells
- Autumn: Plants - Guelder rose; Crab apple
- Winter: Mammals - Wood mouse; Birds - Great spotted woodpecker; Treecreeper
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 was used for growing food and ploughed using an oxen-pulled plough. You can see the undulating broad ridge and furrow pattern left behind from ploughing. Evidence of past coal extraction is visible in the form of small craters left throughout the woodland and meadow.
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. Park in the lay by at the side of the road.