Parish Wood

Parish Wood, 2103 - compare with the previous version at the foot of the page! (Ian Robinson)

Parish Wood, 2013 – compare with the previous version pictured at the foot of the page! (Ian Robinson)

This community woodland was created by the group in 1996 on land leased from Filey Town Council. Over 3000 trees of eight species were planted by local volunteers and paths were provided through the eastern (public) part of the wood. The western sector is fenced off as a sanctuary area and is used as a ringing station by the East Yorkshire Ringing Group.

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Ian Robinson)

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Ian Robinson)

The detail:
As with the adjoining Old Tip to the north, this area formed part of the town refuse tip, and as such possesses a substrate unsuited to most plant growth; despite this, however, most trees thrive (though there are patches of less vigorous growth). Clumps of oak, ash and beech are reaching a reasonable size and an understory is developing, bringing breeding opportunities for an increasing range of birds and wildlife. Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap breed, Tree Sparrows use the nest boxes and tits, finches and Great Spotted Woodpeckers are regular, attended by a breeding pair of Sparrowhawks. Roe Deer and Fox lay up in the briars.

Inevitably, a valuable patch of woodland in such a location provides essential sheltering, resting and refueling opportunities for a range of migrants. Everything from Goldcrests to Pied and Spotted Flycatchers, Phylloscopus and Sylvia warblers, thrushes and Woodcocks and many more species can be found here; scarcer visitors include Icterine Warbler, Wryneck, Bluethroat, and Pallas’s Warbler, and anything is possible.

Long-tailed Tit (Mark Pearson)

Long-tailed Tit (Mark Pearson)

Seasonal highlights:
Spring (April-May): Local breeding birds set their stall out and are joined by freshly-arrived migrants; listen for Grasshopper Warbler or Lesser Whitethroat. Flowering trees, particularly Cherry and Rowan, border the footpaths.

Summer (June-August): A quieter period, though bird numbers are boosted by a newly independent fledglings. Polish up your tree identification skills by looking for Small-leaved Lime and splitting the two species of Oak. On warm, sunny days Speckled Wood butterflies and dragonflies use the glades and many other species feed on the flowering brambles.

Autumn (September-November): The fruiting hedgerows and trees invite migrant thrushes and finches and the trees hold Goldcrest and tit flocks – check carefully for Pallas’s and Yellow-browed Warbler. Be ready for Woodcock bursting off the leaf-litter and geese overhead.

Winter (December-March): A more challenging period, with the paths becoming muddy and bird sightings often restricted to tit flocks and chattering Tree Sparrows using the nearby bird-tables.

Goldcrest (Ian Robinson)

Goldcrest (Ian Robinson)

Top tip: To experience the diversity of bird life, walk slowly through the wood in summer, past the old tip and onto the cliff-top path. Take a break watching the breeding seabirds and check the slopes for orchids and butterflies before retracing your steps to the wood

Access and Directions:
Parish Wood is on Sycamore Avenue on the Parish Fields estate. Approaching from Scarborough on the A1039 turn left onto Grove Hill Road, left at the end, and the entrance is 50 metres along on the right. Alternatively, approach on the Cleveland Way from the Country Park, dropping down the footpath across the Old Tip.

Public Transport:
Scarborough-Hull buses pass the end of Grove Hill Road; a train service also operates between Scarborough and Hull, calling at Filey.

Dogs should be kept under control and on leads at all times –The Dogs on Leads (Scarborough Borough) Order 2012

Contact: Ian Robinson, 01723 513991
Grid Reference: TA 112815
Nearest Postcode: YO14 9NU

Parish Wood, February 1997.... (Ian Robinson)

Parish Wood, February 1997…. (Ian Robinson)