Friends of Hopwood Woods Nature Reserve

Hopwood Woods

Hopwood Woods LNR (Hopwood Woods Nature Reserve) is made up of a number of smaller woodland areas around the grounds of Hopwood Hall.

Hopwood Clough is a narrow valley formed by Trub Brook. The woodland is a mix of species planted as parkland and formal gardens for the Hall itself. Tree species are dominated by beech and sycamore, with native species such as ash,oak and birch scattered throughout the area.
At the northern end of the Clough is a small mill pond created to feed an old corn mill once on the site.

The pond itself is of value , with a variety of aquatic plants such as yellow water-lily, sweet flag and bog bean. An unusual feature of this area is the stands of bamboo planted as landscape features near the pond.

Oaken Bank and Glade Woods lie to the north west of the Hall , best reached via Oaken Bank Lane, an ancient track way through the area. These are good examples of birch-oak woodland. The woodland floor has a number of ponds, created as clay was dug to make bricks for the Hall itself. Grass species are dominated by creeping soft grass and wavy hair-grass, with herbaceous plants such as wood sorrel, creeping buttercup and hemp agrimony occurring. These woodlands are of particular value for their fungi; more than 120 species have been recorded.

Noteworthy finds include: Russula claroflava and Thelphora terrestria.

Lords Wood is one of the few ancient woodlands in the borough ( woodland in existence on the site prior to 1600) and is therefore of particular value. The woodland lies along a shallow valley between Hopwood Hall and the Rochdale canal (SSSI). An oak-birch woodland, the site also has some planted beech, turkey oak and common lime in a narrow band along the western edge. There are numerous ferns on the woodland floor including broad buckler fern, hard fern and lady fern. A narrow stream runs through the wood with species such as red campion , water mint and bog stitchwort found along its banks. A plant rare to the county, bottle sedge, is to be found in wet areas and ponds along the valley floor. A plant rare to the borough , musk, can also be found along the more common marsh marigold , marsh cinquefoile, skullcap, bistort and hairy willow herb.

Toads breed in the pond at the southern end of the wood which is surrounded by an area of species-rich grass with plants such as purple moor grass, pignut, tormentil, heath bedstraw and an abundance of wood anenome. About 60 species of fungi have been recorded; noteworthy being; Ciboria batschiana, Russuls soronia and Amanita citrina.

The woods are an attractive habitat for birds. Species breeding in recent years include nuthatch, green woodpecker, wood warbler, chiffchaff, tawny Owl and sparrowhawk. Woodcock can occasionally be flushed in winter.

Though it is not part of the formal LNR, Cooper Fold is a woodland to the south of the area, dominated by silver birch.

The site as a whole is quite hilly and whilst access around the reserve is good, paths within the woodlands are unsurfaced and not always easy to follow.

Contact Information

Friends of Hopwood Woods Nature Reserve

Hopwood Woods
Rochdale Road
M24 6XH

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