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The ProgrammeFuelling a Revolution
More information - Bowden Housteads Wood
  visiting the wood
  landforms, rocks and soils
  history and heritage
  plants and trees
  birds and animals
  a woodland walk
  educational use
  woodland restoration and
   management work


To download a map and trail leaflet click here.

Bowden Housteads Wood lies 3 kilometres east of the centre of Sheffield, between the Handsworth and Darnall areas of the city, and close to the north-eastern edge of the Manor estate. The site has an area of 29.5 hectares and, together with the adjacent area of Spring Wood, forms the largest surviving block of ancient woodland in the south-eastern part of Sheffield. The wood is split into three blocks, the largest of which is to the north of the Sheffield Parkway, which divides the site in two. The two southern blocks are in turn separated from one another by the Mosborough Parkway.

The wood is first recorded in an inventory of property compiled in 1332 following the death of Thomas de Furnival, Lord of Hallam. It is also referred to in a document written in around 1600, which lists it as a coppice woodland belonging to the 7th Earl of Shrewsbury. These two pieces of documentary evidence clearly show that Bowden Housteads Wood is an ancient woodland, in other words, one that has been in existence for at least the last 400 years.

Bowden Housteads Wood
This broad path through Bowden Housteads Wood is part of the Trans-Pennine Trail which is designed for use by a wide variety of people.

The majority of the wood is dominated by Oak and Beech, together with Sweet Chestnut and Sycamore. Under these areas is found a variety of wild flowers characteristic of ancient woodlands, for example Bluebell, Wood Anemone, Yellow Archangel and Lesser Celandine, all of which are abundant in places.

The woodland is crossed by a number of small streams with which are associated areas with a greater variety of tree species than elsewhere in the wood as well as a relatively rich ground flora. The wettest areas are to be found along Car Brook in the northern section of the wood. Here the woodland is dominated by Crack Willow and there is a rich variety of herb species. At its south-western corner, Bowden Housteads Wood merges into the unimproved grassland, heathland, wetland, scrub and willow of Car Brook Ravine and Spring Wood. This area is a nature reserve managed by the Sheffield Wildlife Trust.

The variety of habitats within and around the edges of the site supports a number of interesting and unusual invertebrates. Birds and mammals recorded in the area include a number that are relatively uncommon or declining in numbers.

Bowden Housteads Wood is easily accessible, including by public transport. It has an excellent network of footpaths, including a number accessible to people in wheelchairs, and is well used by the public.

Some thinning and group felling of trees had already taken place before the start of the Fuelling a Revolution programme. This work is continuing in order to encourage regeneration of native tree species and to restore areas of ancient woodland ground flora damaged by the dense shade of the woodland canopy. Access to the wood is being improved by path restoration and parts of the woodland boundary are also being restored. Finally, the potential of the site as an educational and recreational resource is being developed through guided walks, events relating to the natural history and historic interest of the site, children's events, practical management tasks and the construction of an environmental artwork.

Other nearby Heritage Woodlands are:

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