Forge valley woods
About Forge valley woods
Forge Valley is owned by Scarborough Borough Council and joint managed by the councils and Natural England as a National Nature Reserve. Natural England describe Forge Valley on there web site thus:
"NNR 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."
The woodland that clings to the steep slopes would have been heavily coppiced to provide wood for charcoal making which in turn fuelled the forge that once operated in the valley, processing ore from ironstone quarries in the valley.
To view a map of Forge Valley CLICK HERE
The valley was originally formed during the ice age when glaciers blocked the Derwents eastern path to the sea. The river instead cut a way south forming the deep valley, on its present route and there is a wooden walkway along much of its western bank.
The Geology Trail which runs through Forge Valley is a popular walk and to download the informative map of the route from the Natural England web site CLICK HERE
It is the complex geology of Forge Valley which has resulted in the diverse woodland types and ecology which are found there.
FLORA & FAUna in Forge Valley
Due to the differing rocks and soil types in Forge Valley varying woodland types are found at different levels of the valley sides.
In the wet valley bottom, Alder and Willow are the most common with
golden saxifrage, yellow flag and pendulous sedge providing most of the ground cover.
Climb higher and you find a ash and wych elm. Sycamore is prevalent with hazel, field maple, holly, bird cherry and spurge laurel. Whilst the flora is dominated by dog's mercury and ramsons, there are several Orchids as well as Sanicle, wood anemone and toothwort.
Pedunculate oak Rowan and Holly can be found at the top and it is this diversity that attracts a varied variety of breeding birds.
For further details visit Natural Englands web site CLICK HERE