Woodlands are one of the most treasured parts of the Barnsley landscape. The carpets of spring flowers in many of our ancient broad-leaved woodlands are a breath-taking sight.
Woods and their trees, undergrowth and leaf litter, are important for wildlife for food, nesting and roosting, shelter and a refuge from predators. They support fungi, lichens, mosses and ferns; flowering plants; butterflies, moths and other invertebrates; bats and foraging mammals; and of course birds.
Priority woodland habitats. There are five national woodland ‘priority habitats’ in Barnsley, for which planning policies should ‘promote the conservation, restoration and enhancement’. National Planning Policy Framework, para 174b
Mixed Deciduous or Broadleaf Woodland, mainly mixed Oak-Birch woodland which is the natural woodland cover on the coal measure soils of Barnsley.
Upland Oakwood remnants in the Dark Peak cloughs of the millstone grit area of Barnsley.
Wet Woodland, the natural woodland cover for wet soils with Willow, Alder, Birch and Ash as dominant trees.
Woodpasture and Parkland has individual or groups of trees within grazed grassland. The majority of veteran trees are found in historic parklands.
Traditional Orchards are an additional national priority ‘woodland’ habitat, sometimes old and sometimes more recently planted.
However all woodland can be valuable for biodiversity; including scrub which is an additional local priority.
Some areas have long-standing conifers or non-native trees that may be valuable habitat for wildlife species not common locally.
Ancient woodland has had time to build up a varied and distinctive biodiversity and is recognised as irreplaceable in national planning policies.
Barnsley has 3637 hectares (36 square km) of woodland, just under 10% of its area.
Most woods are to the west of the M1, like Bagger & Hugset woods, with some woods like West Haigh & Wombwell woods in the east.
Woodland habitat can also be found in small copses, and in wooded strips along old parish boundaries, tracks & streams