Discover Churwell’s hidden wildlife haven

Churwell Environmental Volunteers continue to work on making Clark Spring Wood into a nature reserve.
Churwell Environmental Volunteers continue to work on making Clark Spring Wood into a nature reserve.

In the middle of a Churwell residential estate is a bit of a hidden treasure complete with dipping ponds, woods and a whole heap of wildlife enjoying it.

Churwell Environmental Volunteers have been busy over the past four years making Clark Spring Woods and Daffil Woods into nature spots for the whole local community, dog walkers and visitors alike to enjoy.

The group has continuously worked hard to create what has become a beautiful haven and it all started as a litter picking exercise.

Volunteer Joanna Coultous said: “More and more volunteers started coming along and it progressed from there. We have volunteers of all ages, up to people who are in their 70s.”

One of their latest tasks is creating a mini-railway, which they hope to have up and running by April 6 – just in time for their next event, the annual Great Easter Egg Hunt.

Joanna said: “The train has a carriage that will be able to carry either five children or three adults at any one time and carry them along a track that’s about 90ft long, along the stream that runs through the woods.”

The event is just one of many volunteers have organised over the years. They have held very successful den building and a bear hunt for children and a photography competition from which the winners have their entries published in a calendar.

There is the Churwell Nature Trail where visitors can walk the developed pathway through the woods, taking in sights such as Bluebell Wood, the Dipping Pond, Wildflower Meadow and Butterfly Corner and with a stream following the path, it’s hard to believe you are a minute or two away from the busy town centre, but can quite easily understand just why the team have previously been judged as Outstanding by Yorkshire in Bloom.

There’s a bird feeding area, children’s dipping pond, which is the home to frogs along with plants and flowers which attract all kinds of insects and wildlife through Clark Spring Woods, through the Daffil Woods where the nature trail continues.

The meeting point is the Field Centre on Westwood Side and volunteers hope to create an information centre where visitors can learn all about what they can find in the woods.

Joanna said: “It’s Churwell’s hidden treasure. There are a lot of people who don’t even realise we are here and what we do and we’re always hoping more people will come and join us – or just come and take a walk around the woods.”

*Churwell Environmental Volunteers meet every Thursday at 10am at the Field Centre.