East Cleveland is important for ancient woodlands. Although the ancient woodlands today are confined to steep sided stream valleys that connect the moors to the sea, they cover a relatively high proportion of the area compared to the national average for ancient woodlands. They represent an important and distinctive part of East Cleveland’s natural heritage.
To help highlight the special nature of East Cleveland’s woodlands we have selected three different woodlands from across the area for this project. The diary entries uploaded by the public are shown on the different woodland pages. Compare the individual woodlands to see the differences in flora and structures and se how the woodlands change with the seasons. To find out more about each entry click on the individual image.
Saltburn Gill is a wildlife rich woodland set in a lovely secluded valley leading to the coast. A dense canopy of oak and ash trees shelter a winding path which runs the entire length of the valley. Saltburn Gill has largely remained unchanged since the time of the great forests and shows a fine example of the type of woodland that would once have covered East Cleveland. A mix of oak, ash, hazel and holly clothe the steep sides of the valley. Saltburn Gill is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and one of the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust’s Nature Reserves.
Whitecliff and Clarkson’s woods are located on the urban fringe of Loftus and are well used by local people. These ancient woodlands with spectacular ground flora are dominated by ash and harbour rare species including small leafed lime and spindle. Adjacent to the ruins of the 13th century Kilton Castle, these wildlife rich woods have a rich cultural history evidenced by ancient coppice stools, green lanes and tree graffiti.
Hagg Wood is a Woodland Trust Reserve located close to the village of Moorsholm and is accessed by an following the route of an ancient trod. It is part of a larger complex of wildlife rich ancient semi natural woodland that follows the steep banks of Hagg Beck. In the reserve the woods are unusual being dominated by over mature hazel coppices with oak ash and cherry stands. It contains a rich and diverse ground flora of grasses and mosses.