Gallows Hill Nature Reserve

Gallows Hill Nature Reserve

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Gallows Hill is a nature area on the River Wharfe in Otley.

Gallows Hill Nature Reserve

Gallows Hill Nature Reserve is a strip of land tucked away next to the River Wharfe, on the way out of Otley. It is made up of an several different areas. Some trees, scrub, and nettle beds with a pond.

Location Details

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Take a look around

  • Gallows Hill Nature Reserve pond
  • Gallows Hill Nature Reserve
  • Gallows Hill Nature Reserve
  • Gallows Hill Nature Reserve
  • Gallows Hill Nature Reserve pond
  • Gallows Hill Nature Reserve
  • Gallows Hill Nature Reserve pond
  • Gallows Hill Nature Reserve
  • Gallows Hill Nature Reserve River Wharfe
  • Gallows Hill Nature Reserve
  • Gallows Hill Nature Reserve
  • Gallows Hill Nature Reserve
  • Gallows Hill Nature Reserve
  • Gallows Hill Nature Reserve
  • Gallows Hill Nature Reserve
  • Gallows Hill Nature Reserve
  • Gallows Hill Nature Reserve
  • Gallows Hill Nature Reserve

Location

Gallows Hill Nature Reserve is just left off Pool Road, just after the cemetery on the way out of Otley. Located just around the corner from Wharfemeadows Park.

The area is a Nature Reserve, a managed wilderness with grass cutting mainly restricted to paths. The funding for the upkeep comes from the Otley Town Council.

Things to Do

Take a Walk

It is a great place for a stroll. The woodland had a diverse selection of trees and shrubbery. Willow, birch, hawthorn, holly, field maple, hazel to name a few. As well as the native fruit trees. Native wild flowers, such as knapweed, red campion, bird’s foot trefoil, teasel and yarrow have been introduced to self-seed in areas where the soil is less rich.

Volunteering

The continuing work of tree, hedge, and flower planting and maintenance of the Reserve is carried out by a group of volunteers, the Friends of Gallows Hill. New volunteers are always welcome!

Walk the Dog

The Gallows Hill Nature Reserve is dog friendly. And it is a great place to stretch your legs and explore with your four legged friend!

Bird Watching

The area is a nesting site for resident blackbirds, songthrushes, robins and wrens. And there are a number of summer visitors such as blackcaps, white throats and willow warblers.

You are likely to see Sparrowhawks, as they are regular hunters in the area.
In the winter there are flocks of fieldfares and redwings that visit to strip the berries from the trees and hedges.

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History

A Dark Past

The name “Gallows Hill” comes from a dark past. It was a site for execution starting in the Anglo-Saxon era. During the reign of Henry I (1100-1135) the Archbishop of York had the power to execute thieves caught in the Manor of Otley. This was stopped in 1614, and there were no more executions after that.

Sewage Clean Up

Otley Town Council purchased the land from Yorkshire Water Authority in 1987/8. The area was used originally as sludge beds for the old sewage works! A lot of work and money was put into removing toxic materials, and then redeveloping the area into what is is now. The construction of the pond, and tree and hedging planting.

Food and Drink

There is a café next to Riverside Park that sells coffee, ice cream and light bites.

Parking

Parking is available at the small nature reserve car park (Google Map Link), or you can park at Wharfemeadow Park in Otley and walk across from there.

Access

There are well maintained pushchair/wheelchair friendly paths. Be aware that it can get muddy after rain.

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