Countryside services

Large areas of Calderdale are of European importance for their wildlife. They are designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Areas (SPA).

It is the role of the Countryside Service to protect and enhance this unique and rich natural environment and promote knowledge and understanding.

The Countryside Service organises an annual programme of Guided walks .

View our new Countryside newsletter.

For more details of our service, see below:

Conservation and biodiversity

The South Pennine uplands are internationally important and large areas form part of the South Pennine Moors Special Protection Area (SPA) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC). This is in recognition of the presence of wildlife habitats, such as, upland heathland and blanket bogs. Also, wildlife species, including birds, such as, Red Grouse, Short-eared Owl and Golden Plover. Adjacent to the moors lie grasslands, which are vital to birds, such as, the rare Twite, known as the 'Pennine Finch'. Many of the upper valley sides, known as cloughs, are surrounded by ancient oak woodlands and are rich in biodiversity.

The River Calder dissects Calderdale, acting as an important wildlife corridor for fish, birds and mammals, such, as otters. The lowland areas are more developed, but wildlife still manages to find a home. Here wetlands, hedgerows and grasslands form important refuges. Even in our towns, brownfield sites, parks and gardens there are opportunities for wildlife to thrive alongside people.

Many of the best sites for wildlife are declared as Local Nature Reserves.

Countryside Services works closely to conserve and enhance Calderdale's wildlife. Calderdale's PDFBiodiversity Action Plan [PDF 1073KB] (BAP), sets conservation priorities, targets and actions to guide our work.

Our Species audit outlines the wildlife we have in Calderdale and those species which have a greater need for attention;  PDFSpecies audit for Calderdale [PDF 410KB]

For information about Calderdale's wildlife and BAP, contact:


For information regarding Environmental Education, contact:


Forestry Service

The Forestry Service is responsible for managing and providing specialist advice on trees that are on Council-owned land. Calderdale Council has a duty of care for trees that it owns and will be regularly inspected.

In Calderdale the following types of trees are inspected annually, to assess their current health and stability:

  • all mature highways trees;
  • all trees on major roads, in and out of Calderdale;
  • trees in major parks; and
  • mature trees in other areas.

Inspections are recorded and Calderdale are in the process of registering every urban tree on a database.

Wherever possible we try to carry out remedial work when a tree has become unsafe. However, sometimes we have to remove trees because of health and safety risks. Also, if the risk to highway and service infrastructure is too great. We cannot carry out work on privately owned land.

The Forestry Service provides a specialist advice service to other Council departments, regarding all aspects of arboricultural management.

Through its forestry work team, the Forestry Service provides direct management of over 45,000 park, amenity and street trees.

Logs and wood chip

We supply woodchip and timber off-cuts / rings where available. They are sold as a transit tipper load. This service includes supply and delivery only.

All orders need to be paid for when orders are placed.

Wood chip

£51 per 3m³ (plus vat).

Timber off cuts

£61.20 plus vat per 3m³.

Tree rings £122.40

£122.40 per full 3m³.

We also accommodate half loads, contact us about this using the details below.

Note: The timber off-cuts and tree rings will be various shapes and sizes and will need cutting up further. It is the responsibility of the customer to ensure that they use the logs in accordance with the Clean Air Act 1993.

The service includes supply and delivery only. There is no facility to collect logs or wood chip. Delivery is made on an agreed time and date. This will be between 9am and 3pm on Monday to Friday

Timescales depend on availability and demand.

For more information, contact:

Site Management

Calderdale’s Countryside and Woodlands Team look after 84 sites throughout Calderdale. Some are small pockets of land, while others like Ogden Water, are Local Nature Reserves (LNRs). We manage woodlands, moorland, grassland and wetland. These all require different management techniques and regimes to manage access and promote biodiversity and conservation.

Some of our larger sites have individual management plans, which details how we manage them over time, usually 5 years. This includes regular maintenance jobs and major works that are likely to occur, for example, tree felling. Plans are reviewed on a regular basis. Work is carried out by Countryside staff and Calderdale Countryside Volunteers. Some sites have 'Friends groups', or local community groups that make a large contribution to how the sites are run. For major planned work, information will be displayed on site, in advance, to inform visitors what we will be doing and why.

If you have any queries about management, at any of our sites, contact:

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