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Countryside Services

Here you can find out about guided walks, conservation and biodiversity, forestry service and site management.

Our service manages a variety of land across Calderdale, such as woodlands, moorland and grassland. We also:

  • Work with others to deliver Natural Flood Management schemes.
  • Run the Local Access Forum.
  • Manage Jerusalem Farm and Ogden Water.

Biodiversity underpins all of our work we do. It is one of the main things that we consider when we make any decisions.

We also organise Countryside events.

Why not sign up to our newsletter?

More details about our service:

Conservation and biodiversity

The South Pennine uplands are of international importance and large areas form part of the:

  • South Pennine Moors Special Protection Area (SPA);
  • and Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

This is in recognition of the presence of wildlife habitats, such as, upland heathland and blanket bogs. Also, wildlife species, which includes birds, such as, Red Grouse, Short-eared Owl and Golden Plover.

Next to the moors is grasslands. These are vital to birds, such as the rare Twite, known as the 'Pennine Finch'. Many of the upper valley sides, known as cloughs, are surrounded by ancient oak woodlands and are rich in biodiversity.

The River Calder dissects Calderdale, acting as an important wildlife corridor for fish, birds and mammals, such, as otters. The lowland areas are more developed, but wildlife still manages to find a home. Here wetlands, hedgerows and grasslands form important refuges. Even in our towns, brownfield sites, parks and gardens there is the chance for wildlife to thrive alongside people.

Many of the best sites for wildlife are declared as Local Nature Reserves.

We work closely to conserve and enhance Calderdale's wildlife. We set out our conservation priorities, targets and actions to guide our work. For more details, please read: 

Our Species audit outlines the wildlife we have in Calderdale. It shows those species that have a greater need for attention. For more details, please read: 

For information about Calderdale's wildlife and BAP, please contact:

For information regarding Environmental Education, contact:

Forestry service

This service manages, maintains and inspect over 30,000 trees that come under its ownership. (This does not include over 430 hectares of woodlands.)

We have a Tree Inspection Strategy that highlights the requirements of which trees require annual inspections. These are graded down to which trees need 2/3 and or 4 year inspections. (Based on size, age, proximity to highways and other contributing factors).

Inspections are recorded and Calderdale are in the process of registering every urban tree on a database.

Where possible, we try to carry out remedial work when a tree has become unsafe. Sometimes we must remove trees because of:

  • Health and safety risks;
  • or if the risk to highway and service infrastructure is too great.

We also have a Tree and Woodland Strategy, endorsed and approved by Cabinet.

We cannot carry out work on privately owned trees, but we can offer free advice to the legal owner.

The Forestry Service provides a specialist advice service to other Council departments, regarding all aspects of arboricultural management.

We supply woodchip when available sold as a transit tipper load. This service includes supply and delivery only. All orders need to be paid for when orders are placed. Prices available by contact using the details below.

  • The service includes supply and delivery only. (There is no facility to collect wood chip.)
  • Delivery is made on an agreed time and date. (This is between 9am and 3pm from Monday to Friday.
  • Timescales depend on what is available and demand.

For more details, please email:

Site management

Calderdale's Countryside and Woodlands Team look after 84 sites throughout Calderdale. Some are small pockets of land, while others like Ogden Water, are Local Nature Reserves (LNRs). We manage woodlands, moorland, grassland and wetland. These all require different management techniques and regimes to manage access and promote biodiversity and conservation.

Some of our larger sites have their own management plans.

  • These detail how we manage them over time, which is often five years.
  • This includes regular maintenance jobs and major works that are likely to occur, such as tree felling.
  • Plans are reviewed on a regular basis.
  • Work is carried out by Countryside staff and volunteers.
  • Some sites have 'Friends groups' or local community groups that make a large contribution to how the sites are run.

For major planned work, information is on display at the site. This is done in advance to let visitors what will be done and why.

For any query about management at our sites, contact Countryside Services using the details below.


Countryside Services:

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