Chop kiln, Grass Wood MYD36613 (c) YDNPA, 2023
One of the largest areas of semi-natural woodland within the National Park. During the 18th and 19th century it was intensively exploited as a source of fuel for the nearby lead industry. The remains of chop kilns or elling hearths can still be seen as bowl shaped depressions. In these simple kilns wood was dried to produce ‘chop wood’ or ‘white coal’. Grass Wood is now owned and managed by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. It consists of mixed, mainly ash woodland with some hazel coppice. Under its previous owner large areas of commercial conifer were planted. The Trust is gradually removing these and allowing the natural woodland to regenerate. During the later 19th century access to the woodland by local people was hotly contested with its then owner the Duke of Devonshire as recorded in James Crowther’s book ‘Silva Gars’. The wood is also the site of an Iron Age settlement and a small defended enclosure known as Gregory’s Fort also probably of Iron Age date.
www.yorkshire-wildlife-trust.org.uk/. Date accessed 8/3/04.
Location From Grassington turn off the B6265 by the Toffee Shop onto Grass Wood Lane. There is a small car park in a quarry on the right after about 1.5 miles with a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust information board.
Public Transport Details Nearest town/village: Grassington. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information.
Accessibility Some footpaths in the wood are well-surfaced, others are muddy and rough with steps and steep slopes. Step stiles into wood from car park.