This small strip of woodland is located just over 5 kilometres east of the centre of Sheffield, between the Richmond and Handworth areas of the city.
In comparison with most of the other Heritage woodlands, relatively little is known about the history of Smelter Wood. It is known however that the northern end of the woodland has been significantly affected by building development, whilst the southern end has been lost to road construction. The name of the wood probably derives from the Smelter family who were its owners in the 19th century.
The wood, which is an ancient semi-natural woodland, is mainly dominated by Oak and Sycamore. Other trees include Elm, Field Maple and Cherry, with shrubs in the understorey including Holly, Hazel and Hawthorn. There is a rich ground flora with 13 ancient woodland indicators. An area of open grassland can be found in the north of the site.
Under the Fuelling a Revolution programme, woodland restoration and access improvement work is taking place to restore Smelter Wood to its former glory and to maximise its potential as a recreational and educational resource. Some thinning, group felling and coppicing will be carried out in order to create a more varied woodland structure and to encourage the regeneration of native species such as Oak, Ash and Hazel. Sycamore, a non-native and highly invasive species, will be particularly favoured for removal. In addition to this woodland management work, the habitat value of the open grassland in the north of the site will be improved.
Access to the wood will be improved by repairing, upgrading and waymarking the path system. Work is also required to reduce problems of litter, fly tipping, vandalism in the form of fires and unauthorized access by cycles, motorcycles and horses. The boundaries of the woodland, which are currently poorly defined, will be reinforced by the construction of post and rail fencing. This will particularly help the woodland along its eastern boundary which has suffered from encroachment through the extension of adjacent gardens. 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 and practical management tasks.
Other nearby Heritage Woodlands are: