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Nature Reserve:Chafer Wood Nature Reserve

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Nature Reserve

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Businesses across the Yorkshire Coast are looking forward to welcoming you back.

Please check the individual website for reopening dates, opening times and booking details.

We recommend you follow current public health advice and maintain social distancing.


Bluebells, ramsons and other woodland pants offer a tapestry of colour in this idyllic mixed broadleaved woodland nature reserve. The sounds of twigs snapping during an early morning stroll through this peaceful valley may alert you to passing roe deer. The views from the top of the wood across the Vale of Pickering are stunning.

Chafer Wood supports an interesting variety of habitats, home to a wide range of plants and birds.

The shaded lower parts of the valley are rarely exposed to sunlight and are therefore covered in delicate ferns and mosses. By the stream running through the nature reserve, woodland plants such as bluebells, baneberry, goldilocks buttercup and leopard’s bane can be found, whilst a carpet of wild garlic (ramsons) fills the air with an oniony fragrance during the spring.

Roe deer are very much in evidence on the site and may well be encountered on a quiet stroll. Rare species of cranefly also thrive, as conditions in the valley bottom create the perfect habitat in which to breed. Birds you might come across include nuthatch, redstart, blackcap, green and great spotted woodpeckers.

In addition to the woodland there are areas of limestone grassland that form small open glades within the trees.

Before Yorkshire Wildlife Trust took ownership of the site some areas had been used as a plantation, evident by small populations of introduced trees like sycamore and larch. Management by the Trust is focussed on removing these introduced tree species and replanting with native species which are then protected from deer and rabbit damage. Bracken is managed by cutting so it does not encroach and shade out other pants, whilst the open areas of limestone grassland are strimmed once or twice a year with the cuttings raked up to create habitat piles for insects to use.

Some historical interest remains on the site, including an ancient pinfold near the entrance which has been restored by the Trust. A 200 years old structure, known as King Alfred’s Carin also exists, although excavation in the 1950s of the cave beneath revealed human remains dating back to Neolithic times.

Dogs accepted

Opening Details

Open all the time


Just north of the village of Ebberston,
North Yorkshire,
YO13 9PA



See location of Chafer Wood Nature Reserve on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: SE 899832  Lat: 54.23660 Long: -0.62198

Take the A170 Pickering road to the village of Ebberston. The nature reserve is north of the village, off a quiet lane.

Limited roadside parking available.


  • Dogs acceptedDogs accepted

Self-Assessed Accessibility Details


Public and permissive footpaths. Contact the Trust for disabled access information. Please keep all dogs on leads.