Demidales Wood

Demidales Wood, Brafferton, North Yorkshire |


When you arrive at Demidales Wood, the section of woodland between the stone track and a watercourse is quite mature.

The purchasers of the woodland will be asked to enter into a covenant to ensure the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of adjoining woodlands and meadows.


It’s hard not to be impressed by the mature oak trees here, they range from about 80 to possibly 200 years old. There are tall spruces around the ride-stop too providing shade and evergreen cover.

Across the watercourse, the trees are younger. Conifers were felled here around 10 years ago and deciduous trees are regenerating, birch is doing very well but there is also pussy willow, hazel, oak and sycamore with wild rose, masses of bluebells and foxgloves in the clearings. The wood is classed as a ‘Planted Ancient Woodland Site’ or PAWS which means this site has been wooded since 1600 (and probably much longer). We have a fascinating map from 1794 which shows the wood boundaries in almost the same shape as they are today.

All along the western boundary, there are old Corsican Pine trees that border the field boundary.


The mature trees are perfect for tawny owls and buzzards who frequent these high perches to hunt along the track edges. Look out for owl pellets beneath the oaks and the boundary posts and listen for the ‘mew’ of the buzzards who are about most days.

Common woodland birds are long tailed, coal, blue and great tits along with chiff chaffs blackbirds and wrens.

Roe deer frequently pass through and like to make their beds in the bracken.

There is a great number of invertebrates too, the butterflies and bees are conspicuous amongst the wild flowers along the rides, paths and clearings but slightly more overlooked are the huge diversity of moths, hundreds of species have been recorded in the wider wood and some are rare in Yorkshire.


The watercourse has water running in it for much of the year. There is a grassy track that runs alongside it full of wildflowers.

A little further into the wood, a bluebell and foxglove filled track crosses roughly north-south and a glade has been created, adjoining this, where a bench is ideally situated for soaking in the birdsong.

The western boundary adjoins pasture land and the clearings along this edge are a lovely place to watch wildlife and the sun go down.

Access, tracks and footpaths

The wood is reached via a good stone track and there is space to park a vehicle at the ride-stop entrance, off this track.

From the ride-stop, a path leads through the tall trees, across a footbridge and through the younger trees to the glade. Beyond this, the path continues on to the western boundary where there is a clear route running north-south to the other boundary lines.

Rights and covenants

The Internal Drainage Board have a right of access to the watercourse

The shooting and mineral rights are included in the sale

There are no public rights of way within the wood.

The purchasers of the woodland will be asked to enter into a covenant to ensure the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of adjoining woodlands and meadows.


Demidales Wood would suit an owner looking for a project to keep them active, there is lots of scope to shape the future of the wood and the range of activities based there. With lots of pole wood, it would be great for family dens or a source of firewood or perhaps for woodcrafts.

It could equally be managed for conservation and to enhance wildlife value.

Local area and history

The previously mentioned historic map of the Manor of Brafferton shows all the old field names surrounding the wood. Just to the west of the wood, the fields on the higher ground near Thornton Bridge, are named Demidales, probably after its owner, and it is from this that the wood takes its name.

Brafferton village lies at an important strategic crossing point on the River Swale, the name means settlement on the Broad Ford.

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