Stoneycliffe Wood Nature Reserve
Know before you go
Parking informationPark on verge leading to Earnshaw's Timber Centre, on street in Netherton or alongside Netherton Cemetery.
Public and permissive footpaths.
Not accessible for wheelchair users and pushchairs. Public permissive footpaths. No cycling on the nature reserve - cycles only permitted on the Bridleway.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitJune to September
Historically managed for timber production, Stoneycliffe Wood is now being managed to protect the older trees and diversify the canopy structure. The woodland, which is mostly on a steep slope, is primarily dominated by oak and birch but if you look closely you can find amazing veteran sweet chestnuts as well. Come spring there are magnificent displays of bluebells and wild garlic, also known as ramsons, with yellow archangel in summer, all of which are considered as ancient woodland indicator species. Streamside plants include wood club-rush, hemlock water dropwort and Sprengel’s bramble.
All three species of woodpecker frequent the woodland, feeding on the plethora of insects in the dead wood, which provides an important habitat for them. Several rare spiders have been recorded here. The invertebrate species are also a fantastic food source for the numerous other bird species that breed on site including chiffchaffs and willow warbler.
Mammals such as foxes, voles, shrews and stoats have been recorded throughout the site. A small beck flows through the west side of the reserve exposing layers of the Coal Measures geological formation.
The Trust has been improving footpaths on site to provide good access for visitors. Practical conservation work has included thinning the woodland to increase structural and age diversity and to create more deadwood for insects. Bracken and Himalayan balsam are also controlled annually to prevent them from swamping the woodland flowers.
- Spring: Plants - Bluebell; Wild garlic; Birds - Chiffchaff
- Summer: Plants - Yellow archangel; Birds - Spotted flycatcher; Stoat;
- Autumn: Fungi
- Winter: Birds - Lesser spotted woodpecker
Buses that run from Wakefield to Huddersfield pass through Netherton. Exit on Upper Lane (Coxley View).
The nature reserve is on the western edge of the village of Netherton. A footpath enters the site near the Star Inn. Another entrance is alongside Netherton Cemetery and a third footpath enters from the signposted entrance road to Earnshaw's Timber Centre, almost in Midgley.