Barnsley Biodiversity Trust: Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan. Last Updated January 2016

Distribution of woodland in Barnsley, Ancient woodland dark green; other woodland light green. Map produced by South Yorkshire Forest Partnership for Barnsley Woodland Strategy

Just over half of woodland in Barnsley is ancient woodland (18%) and ancient woodland sites with replanting (36%).

Ancient woodlands are those known to have existed prior to at least the 17th century before which woodland was not planted.

Barnsley has 3637 hectares (36 square km) of woodland, just under 10% of its total land area, with most woods to the west of the M1, as well as near Wombwell, Worsbrough, and Grimethorpe.

Woodland habitat can also be found in small copses, and in wooded strips along old boundaries, roads, tracks and streams. Trees are also found in hedgerows and free standing in fields.

All woodland can be valuable for biodiversity. The majority of local woodland priority habitats are Mixed deciduous woodland and Wet woodland. (There are remnants of Upland oakwoods in the Dark Peak.) The other local priority woodland habitats are Parkland and woodpasture and Traditional orchards. (See below)

The best priority woodland is classified as ancient woodlands. These have had time to build up a varied and distinctive flora and fauna and are irreplaceable.

Woodlands are one of the most treasured parts of the Barnsley landscape. The carpets of spring flowers in many of our ancient broad-leaved woodlands are a breath-taking sight.

Woods and their trees, undergrowth and leaf litter, are important for wildlife; for food, nesting and roosting, shelter and a refuge from predators.

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Mixed Deciduous or Broadleaf Woodland, mainly mixed oak-birch woodland and mixed ash woodland, is the natural woodland cover on the coal measure soils of Barnsley.

Upland Oakwood exists as remnants in the cloughs of the Dark Peak area of Barnsley although it lacks the rich range of lichens, mosses and ferns found in the still wetter and colder upland areas.

Wet woodland

Wet Woodland is the natural woodland cover for wet soils; willow carr provides an impressive feature of seasonally flooded areas. Other forms of wet woodland have alder and ash as dominant trees.


Woodpasture and Parkland has individual or groups of trees within grazed grassland. Veteran trees are an important feature with the majority found in historic parklands.

Traditional Orchards are found in parklands and sometimes more recently planted elsewhere.

Priority woodland habitats in Barnsley

The main woodland habitat are listed here and further information can be found via these links

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