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The WoodlandsFuelling a Revolution

As well as woodland, many of the Heritage Woods also contain areas of other habitats, including scrub, grassland, heath and wetland. These additional habitats often greatly increase the range of plant and animal species found.

Woodland glade
A Bracken dominated glade close to the southern end of Woolley Wood.
A number of the woodlands contain glades of various sizes. The vegetation of these varies according to location and soil type, but can include Bracken, Bramble, acid grassland and heathland, as well as areas of woodland ground flora with ancient woodland indicators.

Developing woodland, often dominated by Oak and Birch and shrubs of Elder and Hawthorn provides an important habitat for wildlife.

Scrub and grassland
Like some of the other Heritage Woodlands, Cliffe Wood has significant areas of grassland and scrub.
This varies according to the soil type and past management of the area.

Acid grassland is the most common type. As well as grasses such as Wavy Hair-grass, Sheep's Fescue and Creeping Soft-grass, this supports other acid loving plant species, including Field Woodrush, Heath Bedstraw and Heather. Some of these areas of grassland, for example that at Canklow Wood are either currently grazed or were grazed until relatively recently. Following the cessation of grazing, these open areas are being colonised by young trees, particularly Silver Birch. In addition, Bracken can become a dominant species in some grassland areas where it can have the effect of stifling some tree regeneration.

Particularly species rich areas of meadow can be found on the northern edge of Rollestone Wood as well as in association with other sites in the Gleadless Valley.

Cliffe Wood has a number of mown grassland areas, especially along the route of the old Barnsley canal. Small, open areas of marshy grassland at this site are of particular interest, supporting Common-spotted Orchid, Greater Reedmace and Lesser Pond-sedge.

Heathland in Prior Royd
Small areas of heathland are found within some of the Heritage Woodlands.
Areas of heathland dominated by a mixture of Heather and Bilberry can be found at some of the sites, for example in the glade at Wickersley Wood and in the open area between Wheata Wood and Prior Royd. These heathland areas are distinct from upland moorland in being dry and without the formation of peat.

Pond in Scholes Coppice
Some of the Heritage Woodlands have wet areas such as this pond in Scholes Coppice.
Wet areas of open ground occur at a number of the sites.

They include nutrient-rich areas known as flushes, which often result from the presence of springs. These are often dominated by Willow, over a ground flora of Tufted Hair-grass, Soft Rush, Cotton Grass and mosses typical of wet places, for example Sphagnum.

Treeton Marsh on the edge of Hail Mary Hill Wood has areas of open water surrounded by Greater Reedmace, Great Willowherb, Common Reed, Reed Canary-grass and Soft Rush, with Marsh Marigold, Water Plantain, Angelica, Bittersweet, Water Forget-me-not, Gypsywort and the non-native but highly invasive species, Himalayan Balsam.

Open water at Cliffe Wood
Areas of open water adjoin a few of the Heritage Woodlands.
Open Water
Areas of open water are found on the edges of a number of the sites, in particular Cliffe Wood and Hail Mary Hill Wood.

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