About Us

The flora and fauna of Nutclough Woods

Flora and fauna – click to enlarge

Friends of Nutclough Woods feel it is vital to attract and support local wildlife by regenerating the land we manage.  We want to encourage more biodiversity and make the woods a more pleasant place for people.

Native woodland is comprised of oak, birch, rowan, elm, elder, holly and hawthorn, with a rich variety of wild flowers, grasses, ferns, woodrush, fungi etc, etc.

The Past

We believe the Victorians planted beech and sycamore in great numbers in the Nutclough Woods, because they were large, fast-growing trees.  Perfect wood to fuel Nutclough Mill.  Also, it was mistakenly thought their roots would stop the hills eroding and hold the soil in place and away from the pond, which was a working mill pond.  Unfortunately, the sycamore and beech became dominant, and create so much shade that native trees and ground plants are struggling to survive.   The soil runs down the hill and woodland plants are in decline.

The Future

Friends of Nutclough Woods have developed a management plan to, over time, restore the woods to a much healthier natural balance of flora and fauna, and improve accessibility for people.

Our woods have a beck running through them – Ibbot Royd clough – and a dam in the middle of the woodland, much loved by local families.  The pond is silting up and being over-grown with trees and plants.  It still attracts herons, kingfishers and dippers, and the children’s favourites, the ducks, as well as many other visiting birds and mammals.

We plan to gently restore the pond.  We also plan to improve the paths through the woods and restore the seating, which had been vandalised.


A Victorian Artist paints “Nutt Clough”

Nutclough Woods John Holland

Painting of Nutclough Woods by John Holland in the 19th century


Nutclough painting vantage point

Believed to be the vantage point from which John Holland painted

John Holland was born in Nottingham on 4 Dec 1829 and died 7 Feb 1886 in Tintagel, Cornwall.
His father, a Nottingham signwriter, started his son’s interest in oil painting landscapes and, on the advice of his father, he came to this area for three years.
“At that time the cotton trade was in a flourishing condition, and the ‘cotton princes’, as the merchants were called, could afford to pay long prices for works which they desired to possess. Mr. John Holland became exceedingly popular, and consequently much sought after. …

“He worked steadily and diligently among the beautiful undulating valleys, the frowning precipices, and gloomy crags of the romantic district in which he had taken up his abode, and was fortunate enough to find good patrons for his work in the district.”   The Nottingham Evening Post obituary (13 February 1886)

He created more than 60 paintings and exhibited them in Hebden Bridge. Despite a small entry charge of 6d for the catalogue in order to prevent an inconvenient number of visitors, hundreds of people came.

The list of paintings included at least two of Nutclough, one of which is now owned by a descendant and is shown here.

Nutclough painting Tidswell detail-min

Detail from the painting