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Forge Valley Woods National Nature Reserve
Scarborough, North York Moors

Details for Forge Valley Woods National Nature Reserve


Forge Valley National Nature Reserve supports an abundant variety of wildlife. The woodlands are alive with bird life, insects and wild flowers, have charming riverside boardwalks and a geology trail to explore. 

Forge Valley National Nature Reserve flanks the steep east and west facing slopes of the Derwent river valley. It is one of the best examples of mixed deciduous woodland in north-east England.  

About the reserve: The woods are named after a forge that used to operate in the area. Traditionally the woods were coppiced to provide charcoal for the forge which processed ore from locally mined ironstone. The way marked geology trail follows a linear route throughout the woodland and valley base.

The complex series of rocks and soils has given a sequence of woodland types occupying different levels of the valley sides.

Alder and willow predominate in the wet valley bottom, with a ground flora of golden saxifrage, yellow flag and pendulous sedge.

The middle slopes support a mixed canopy in which ash and wych elm are dominant. Sycamore is locally prevalent and there's an understorey of hazel, field maple, holly, bird cherry and spurge laurel. The rich soils support a diverse flora dominated by dog's mercury and ramsons. Sanicle, wood anemone and toothwort are also found, and there are several species of orchid, including early purple, broad-leaved helleborine and bird's-nest orchid.

At the top of the slope more acidic soils support pedunculate oak with rowan and holly.

The woodland supports a rich population of breeding birds, including nuthatch, treecreeper, garden warbler, wood warbler, redstart and...


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Forge Valley Woods National Nature Reserve
East Ayton
North Yorkshire
East Ayton
07919 692331

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