WHEATA WOOD, PRIOR
ROYD AND BIRKIN ROYD
The three adjoining woodlands of Wheata Wood, Prior Royd and Birkin Royd lie immediately to the north west of Grenoside, which lies on the edge of Sheffield, roughly 8 kilometres north of the city centre. The three woods form part of an extensive wooded area. However, unlike most of the other woodlands in the locality, those of Wheata Wood, Prior Royd and Birkin Royd are mostly consist of semi-natural ancient woodland, meaning that they have been in existence for at least the past 400 years.
Although situated in a relatively rural area, the site is easily accessible, including by buses serving nearby Grenoside. It is an extremely attractive site to visit and forms an excellent educational resource. There is a car park in the northern part of Wheata Wood and from here a comprehensive network of footpaths serves most parts of the site.
Wheata Wood is the largest of the three woodlands and being generally open in character and relatively flat is the most accessible, including by people in wheelchairs. Prior Royd, which lies downslope from Wheata Wood, is both denser in character and more steeply sloping. Birkin Royd lies on the steep sides of a stream valley. No paths serve this part of the site and as a result it is almost inaccessible.
The three woodlands have a rich ground flora, which includes many species normally restricted to ancient woodland. In addition, they provide a home for a wide variety of birds and several species of mammal.
Wheata Wood, Prior Royd and Birkin Royd have been designated as a Local Nature Reserve in order to preserve their value for wildlife. Much of Wheata Wood is also a Scheduled Ancient Monument because of the remains of a Romano-British settlement found there.