Saltburn Gill

A wildlife-rich woodland set in a lovely secluded valley leading to the coast at Saltburn. A dense canopy of oak and ash trees shelter a winding path which runs the entire length of the valley and provides good opportunities to see all the reserve has to offer.

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Why not experience the changing seasons in Saltburn Gill for yourself!  We have produced a diary style walk leaflet to guide you through the Gill and indicate some of the interesting things to see along the way.  Down load and print them from here by clicking on the map below.

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Saltburn Gill has largely remained undisturbed since the time of the great forests and shows a fine example of the type of woodland that would once have covered East Cleveland. A mix of oak, ash, hazel and holly clothe the steep sides of a valley carved by the fast-flowing waters of the Gill and its two tributaries; The Griff and Darn Bottle.

In spring, showy yellow flowers of lesser celandine are shortly followed by carpets of strong smelling wild garlic and bluebells. Other plants to look out for include dog’s mercury, woodruff, bugle, moschatel and wood avens.

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Thanks to its steep valley-sides, Saltburn Gill escapes the ravages of the winter wind, and in the summer when cooling breezes blow in off the North Sea, the reserve remains still and humid. With conditions like these, the woodland provides a refuge for primitive plants like fungi and ferns. Even after the summer flowers have died-back and the golden autumn leaves have fallen from the trees, Saltburn Gill is still worth visiting to spot fungi, or ferns with strange-sounding names like hart’s tongue, hard-shield, broad-buckler and male fern.

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The woodland supports resident birds such as robin, blackbird and wren which are joined by seasonal visitors such as chiffchaff and spotted flycatcher.