Littleworth Park never ceases to surprise. Surrounded by housing, nature is taking back control of this former colliery spoil heap and landfill site and it is quickly reverting to lowland heath and grassland with stunning blooms of heather and wildflowers.

Location

Littleworth Lane,
Monk Bretton
Barnsley
South Yorkshire
S71 5RL

OS Map Reference

SE 368072
A static map of Littleworth Park

Know before you go

Size
38 hectares

Entry fee

Free

Parking information

There is free parking off Littleworth Lane

Walking trails

Paths throughout the site.

Access

There are good paths including tarmac paths.

Dogs

Under effective control
Great areas for free running

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

March to September

About

The reserve is covered with species-rich grassland interspersed with wooded copses. An extensive site that’s great for a stroll or dogwalk or for burying your head amongst the wildflowers.

The extensive grassland is ablaze with yellow bird’s-foot trefoil in the spring and summer making Littleworth a butterfly-spotting heaven with 24 species recorded. Bees and other invertebrates also abound making the most of the nectar source.

To the northern end of the site is the most extensive heather colony, which makes a splash of purple in late summer. New self-set colonies are springing up across the site.

Littleworth is a place where you can really appreciate the value of good scrub habitat with willow warblers and lesser redpolls a couple of the beneficiaries you can find. Drainage ditches on the edge of the site have become valuable habitats for smooth newts, common frogs and toads, as well as dragonflies and other wetland insects.

The site is a great example of how lowland heath can be recreated on old mineral workings. In order to protect the heather and help it colonise the site we remove birch trees that would shade it out and ensure that the contract grass-cutting does not destroy any of the newly-colonising heather plants.

We are creating new ponds on the site to attract a larger colony of amphibians, invertebrates and birds.

Yorkshire wildlife Trust manages the park in partnership with Barnsley Council for the benefit of local people and wildlife.

Seasonal highlights

  • Spring: Birds - Lesser redpoll; Willow warbler; Amphibians - Smooth newt; Mammals - Hedgehog
  • Summer: Plants - Bird's-foot trefoil; Bee orchid; Common centaury; Heather
  • Autumn: Invertebrates - Six-spot burnet; Birds - Bullfinch; Mammals - Rabbit; Fox
  • Winter: Birds - Fieldfare; Redwing; Goldcrest; Goldfinch

History

Originally the routes of the Barnsley canal and a railway ran through the site. They are long gone but to the south of the site the old towpath and railway line form a perfect wildlife corridor and path joining Littleworth Park to nearby Dearne Valley Country Park.

Directions

Public transport
From Barnsley Interchange buses stop at Pontefract Road, Lundwood. Get off the bus at the junction with Littleworth Lane in Lundwood and follow the lane up the hill. Littleworth Park is on your right hand side.

By car
From Barnsley town centre, take the A628 Pontefract Road, cross a mini-roundabout at Lundwood and continue to the next traffic lights. Turn left onto Littleworth Lane. After 200 meters, there is a car park on your right, or continue up Littleworth Lane and park in a small car park opposite Kitson Drive.

Nearby