To find Raincliffe and Forge ValleyWoods click here for a map of the area.
For a brief history of Raincliffe Woods click here.
Raincliffe & Forge Valley Woods
Described by the Woodland Trust as the Creme de la Creme of woodland,Raincliffe Woods is situated approximately 2½ mile North west of Scarborough on the edge of the North Yorks. Moors National Park. It appears in records as far back as 1286
and contains a rare example of ancient oak woodland on a northern slope.
Since 1926 Raincliffe Woods has been owned by Scarborough Borough Council who have voiced a commitment to conservation of the area and the return of the woodland to hardwood. Unfortunately, due partly to budget restraints, little has been done in the ensuing years to fulfil this commitment.
Despite this Raincliffe still has much to offer in the way of leisure, indeed if you enjoy the peace and tranquility of the countryside then Raincliffe offers open access to over 400 acres of woodland.
Raincliffe Woods is designated as Ancient & Semi-Natural woodland or Ancient re-planted Woodland and together with Forge Valley Woods contains a total of 19 SSSI,s. 5 of which fall within Raincliffe Woods ,details of these can be found by
visiting the Natural England web site CLICK HERE
At the higher reaches where Raincliffe Woods meets Seamer Moor there are numerous Tumuli and barrows , evidence of ancient habitation. In 1848 one of these was excavated to reveal massive stones containing a full human skeleton.
Flint arrowheads have been found on Seamer Moor as well as Roman and Saxon artefacts and it is quite possible that a Saxon
settlement may have existed on the moor. If this is the case then we can be sure that the Saxons used Raincliffe as not only a source of timber for shelter, fuel and tools but also for hunting and foraging.
Today much of the land that borders the woodland is farmed but as well as the tumuli there are still remains of ancient earth works that cut across the moors and the remains of Bronze Age 'roads' can still be seen leading down through Raincliffe.
Throxenby Mere nestles at the foot of Raincliffe Woods. A small glacial lake that is now a popular destination for visitors and
for fishing (for those armed with the relevant permit) and is also used frequently by local schools for pond dipping.
Both Raincliffe & Forge Valley Woods offer much for those who want to explore and enjoy the natural environment with out the formality of a park or the incursion of development, so take the time to visit, enjoy and explore.
Forge Valley Woods