Little Beck Wood Nature Reserve

Little Beck Wood Nature Reserve

Little Beck Wood Nature Reserve

Little Beck Wood is a glorious mix of oak, ash, alder and cherry under the canopies of which lives a wealth of plants, mammals and insects.


Little Beck Lane
North Yorkshire
YO22 5HA

OS Map Reference

NZ 879 049
A static map of Little Beck Wood Nature Reserve

Know before you go

26 hectares

Entry fee


Parking information

Parking available at Littlebeck Village Hall.

Grazing animals


Walking trails

Public and permissive footpaths.


Steep, uneven and unsurfaced paths throughout the woodland.


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

March to September


Primarily broadleaved woodland with a small pasture at the southern end, the site avoids the worst of the North Yorks Moors weather being situated in a secluded position at the bottom of the valley.

The nature reserve is split into two as the small river of Little Beck dissects it. Whist the majority of tree species here are oaks, ash, alder and cherry there is also an understory of hazel, holly and rowan. Both sections are rich in ground flora which sustains the healthy mammal population.

In the spring and early summer wood anemone, bluebell, primrose and early purple orchid are in full flower, whilst ferns dominate the shadier areas. Badger scrapes may be discovered around dense areas of bluebells, whilst deer tracks might be seen in the damp sections of the path and rodent holes in the banks around the site. Sightings of birds are commonplace, including the secretive treecreeper and dipper. Dead wood provides an important food source for insects, several of which are listed in the Red Data Book as being rare; these in turn support the population of birds and animals higher up the food chain.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has worked to maintain the woodland since taking over the lease in 1970 from the Forestry Commission and then later purchasing it in 1986. Bird boxes provide vital breeding spaces for nuthatch, tits and owls. Tree health is also a primary concern, with any diseased or damaged trees made safe with regards to the public and left as dead wood where possible. The understory is also managed to retain tree health, with the thinning of holly and coppicing of hazel. The pasture is cut for hay and grazed by neighbouring farmer’s livestock.

Seasonal highlights

  • Spring: Plants - Bluebell; Wood anemone; Primrose; Early purple orchid; Dog violet
  • Summer: Plants - Moschatel; Birds - Great spotted woodpecker; Spotted flycatcher
  • Autumn: Fungi; Birds - Dipper
  • Winter: Birds - Grey wagtail; Treecreeper


Public transport
The nearest train station is at Sleights

By car
Take either the A169 from Pickering or the B1416 from Scarborough. Turn off to the village of Littlebeck where the woodland is situated immediately south of the ford. Please park considerately in the village.