Region: North East & Yorkshire
Visitors to this attractive woodland would never suspect it was situated on the former Bentley colliery. Positioned in the heart of urban Doncaster there is a stunning contrast between the bustling town centre and the quiet calm of the woodland - almost as if you've been transported to the heart of the countryside
There is a unique 12-hectare wetland, designed by local children to resemble a foot, which is an important feature of the site hosting a colourful variety of wildfowl and seasonal migrants. The spectacular aerial display provided by swallows and martins in the summer is always impressive.
A mixture of woodland offers colour and variety throughout the year. The three miles of trails around the woodland are perfect for horse riding, cycling or just a relaxing stroll. At the viewpoint on top of the hill a sculpture commemorates the woodland’s mining history.
Doncaster, South Yorkshire, DN5 0QB
Site size: 94 hectares
Open all year round
An extensive network of footpaths comprised mainly of non-bonded crushed material. Most are in excess of 2.5 metres wide, but there are narrower trails through wooded areas which are unsurfaced. Paths vary in gradient from flat to 1:10 or steeper. There are a limited number of seating areas at varied intervals throughout the woodland, most in excess of 500m apart. Access onto site is through access control barriers which permit motorised buggies.
Walking, Cycling, Orienteering, Horse riding, viewpoints. Small lake with easy viewing of wetland birds. Events programme.
A colourful variety of wildfowl and seasonal migrants. The spectacular aerial display provided by swallows and martins in the summer is always impressive. A mixture of woodland offers colour and variety throughout the year.
Cusworth Hall, Doncaster Racecourse and Sandall Beat Woods and Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery.
Bentley Community Woodland is a thriving woodland created after the demise the former Bentley Colliery. The woodland was one of the first sites taken on by the Land Trust in 2004 and is providing proof that a long term approach to management and community engagement can provide lasting benefit to the community.
A development site next to our land had a negative land value prior to the Land Trust taking ownership of the woodland. That site has since sold for a substantial sum.
The Colliery was closed in 1993, the derelict and contaminated site became part of English Partnerships’ National Coalfield Programme in 1998. The site was then remediated by the regional development agency, Yorkshire Forward with funds from the National Coalfield Programme.
The Land Trust offers a sustainable and cost effective exit for the landowner, protects the money invested in restoring the land, and covers environmental liability associated with the site past history.
The Land Trust’s involvement also allows us to provide add value activities to health, education and social cohesion. One such activity Rangers have worked with local schools whose students are known to use our spaces illegally. The project is hands-on and designed to teach anger management, self control and teambuilding skills. However, don’t jump to hasty conclusions; we are not rewarding bad behaviour, pupils only attend if they have behaved well at school all week.
These are all children that have been suspended from school up to 13 times for physical and verbal abuse, yet at the Forest School none of this behaviour is ever witnessed. Subsequently their school performance has improved and antisocial behaviour on our spaces has reduced significantly.
The Land Trust owns this site, and it is managed in partnership with The Conservation Volunteers.
To contact the Land Trust about this site or how we could help manage your space please email our Estates Manager Ian Kendall or call 07786 748985.
To enquire about holding an event on a Land Trust site, please click here.
This site has received the following awards:
Emily Holmes, the Community Ranger at Bentley Community Woodland, won a Doncaster Environment Award as the individual who has contributed most to improving and protecting her local environment.
Emily is one of a team of Forestry Commission rangers working work on six community woodlands in South Yorkshire with the support of the Land Trust. Emily works predominately at Bentley Community Woodland.
We are always on the look out for enthusiastic, committed people who want to make a real and lasting difference in their local community.Get Involved