Northcliffe Wild Life

Broadleaved woodland once covered the greater part of Britain and a large number of our plants and animals, especially birds depend on it. Within West Yorkshire many of the remaining woodlands are to be found in steep-sided ravines (sometimes called cloughs) as this land is often unsuitable for any other form of development.
 
This is not to say that woodland has been continually present on the site of Northcliffe. Indeed, initial research of historical documents and a survey of the woodland structure of Northcliffe indicate that a large part of the wood was cleared, and the timber subsequently sold in the early nineteenth century. Fortunately, the land was planted up again and today visitors see a wood composed mainly of oak and sycamore with the occasional birch, holly and beech. Over 100 species of flowering plants and ferns have been recorded in the wood. These include well known spring flowers such as bluebells, wood anemones and ramsoms and some less common species like cuckoo-pint.
 
Autumn is a feast in Northcliffe Woods with the vast amount of fungi to be found on logs and amongst the leave mould. Although some might be edible, we suggest you leave the fungi you find where it is. Not everyone can be sure that what they are picking is not poisonous and admiring without picking ensures there will be even more fungi around the next year.
 
In the autumn of 2005 Friends of Northcliffe provided 15 bird and 8 bat boxes in Northcliffe Woods. In the Autumn of 2010 further boxes were put up around the pond. During the summer of 2011 the West Yorkshire Bat Group put up more bat boxes in the wood not far from the allotments end. Some of the boxes put up by Friends of Northcliffe in the early 90's are still usable too. It is hoped that they will increase the range of suitable nesting sites for a number of birds already breeding here and provide much needed summer roosting sites for bats.
 
Friends of Northcliffe have also worked with the Council to recreate the pond which was filled in during the polio epidemic. The pond is not entirely successful and has had to be cleared of silt on a number of occasions.
 
We hope the re-establishment of the pond will add to the enjoyment of park users as well as benefiting wildlife. The grassed areas of the park has under gone a change of management in the last few years. The football fields and cricket pitch are still cut as they always have been. The rest of the grassed area is allowed to grow apart from an annual cut in the autumn. This has already resulted in a greater range of meadow flowers to grow and created a better habitat for the insects, birds and animals.
 
In the Photo Gallery there are photographs of some of the diverse wildlife to be found in Northcliffe Park.