National Grid SW 98802916 00o00´/00o00´ 160ha 150m rising to 315+m at Widdop Reservoir, stunning upland oak, woodland with Mountain Ash, hilly with fast boulder strewn rivers along Hebden Water and tributaries, higher up is open heather moorland with millstone grit outcrops 
Mid-April to early June (13.06.1993)


Birding Site Guide

This is a wonderful National Trust upland woodland site with 18 miles of trails to walk. From the M62 head n into Halifax then at the central roundabout head nw on the A646, then take the A6033 n. Parking is charged except for NT members. Car parks are located at Clough Hole on Widdop Road and Midgehole on Midgehole Road. There is historic Gibson Mill to see and cafe, shop and toilets. There are many places to stay nearby and the National Trust has holiday cottages to rent nearby.

The birds to see here are mainly the 3 upland woodland specialists, that is the Redstart, Wood Warbler and Pied Flycatcher, though there are plenty of other more widespread species in the woods as well. Along the streams look for Dipper, Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher. 

If a visit here is combined with the nearby higher open moors of Widdop Moor a respectable list of species can be got with a few specialities. From the town centre of Hebden Moor follow the minor road up nw towards the reservoirs of Gorple and Widdop. To the right is a parking area and from here there are many public rights of way and tracks that can be walked. The track up to Widdop Reservoir is good. On the moors look for Northern Wheatear, and Ring Ouzel in the crags, and Red Grouse in the heather. Twite can be found in open areas here. There may also be Merlin, Peregrine, Hen Harrier and Short-eared Owl. Some upland breeding waders, maybe Curlew or Golden Plover may be seen too. In light scrub look for Tree Pipit and Whinchat. 

Hardcastle Crags, Hollin Hall, Crimsworth Dean, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire HX7 7AP

Telephone: 01422 844518

National Trust; Hardcastle Crags 

Birds seen (not my complete list).

  • Mallard Anas platyrhynchus
  • Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
  • Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
  • Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
  • Curlew Numenius arquata
  • Herring Gull Larus argentatus
  • Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus
  • Little Owl Athene noctua
  • Tawny Owl Strix aluco
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopus major
  • Skylark Alauda arvensis
  • Swallow Hirundo rustica
  • Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
  • Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis
  • Grey Wagtail Motocilla cinerea
  • Pied Wagtail Motocilla alba
  • Dipper Cinclus cinclus
  • Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
  • Dunnock Prunella modularis
  • Robin Erithacus rubecula
  • Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
  • Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
  • Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus
  • Blackbird Turdus merula
  • Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
  • Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus
  • Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
  • Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix
  • Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
  • Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
  • Goldcrest Regulus regulus
  • Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
  • Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca
  • Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
  • Coal Tit Parus ater
  • Blue Tit Parus caeruleus
  • Great Tit Parus major
  • Treecreeper Certhia familiaris
  • Magpie Pica pica
  • Rook Corvus frugilegus
  • Twite Carduelis flavirostris
  • Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula

The Northern Hairy Wood-Ant is found here. 

Author: BSG