One mile to the south-west of Harrogate, Birk Crag comprises 27 acres of mixed evergreen and deciduous woodland.
Current species include:
- English oak
- common beech
The site offers magnificent views to the north and east due to its elevation at its southerly point.
The site drops steeply from south to north, with an overall fall of about 20-50m between the southern and northern boundary. The wood is characteristically wet at its lowest points in winter.
Helping the click beetle
Harrogate is one of only two places in the UK to be home to a population of the endangered click beetle. We continue to work closely with the Invertebrate Conservation Trust undertaking woodland management at the site to encourage the mating habits and retention of the beetle's local habitat.
The chestnut click beetle is an orangey brown colour and about 8-10mm long. You cannot miss the fantastic feathered antennae, just like a stag's antlers. The best months to look for it are April and May. You should look on exposed rocks, bare ground and at the base of grass tufts, typically on sandy soil in a sheltered, sunny place. Alternatively, have a look on taller plants where the beetle may also be found climbing.
Supported by Claro orienteering club, we provide a permanent orienteering course at Birk Crag. The course is long and has been designed for the more experienced orienteer.
Access and footpaths
Access can be made off Crag Lane, about half a mile past the entrance to the RHS Harlow Carr site, via the public right of way off Cornwall Road, or via the right of way off Penny Pot Lane.
The site contains a series of designated footpaths. The main route runs from Crag Lane down to Penny Pot Lane, or vice versa. These footpaths allow walkers to meander through the woodland at their leisure. The climb from Penny Pot Lane to Crag Lane can be challenging, though, and stout footwear is recommended.