Townclose Hills Nature Reserve

Nature reserve of grassland, woodlands, meadows and scrub on magnesian limestone.


Townclose Hills Nature Reserve – also known as Billy Woods – is the biggest knoll of magnesium limestone grassland in the country. So unique that it is a  site of Special Scientific Interest.

The reserve is home to woodlands, wildflower meadows and scrub. Townclose Hills is managed by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

Location Details

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Things to Note

Townclose Hills Nature Reserve has the following on-site or nearby:

  • Dog Waste Bins
  • Nearby Food & Drink
  • Nearby Parking
  • Nearby Toilets
  • Rubbish Bins


Townhill Close is located on the edge of Kippax in south-east Leeds. Kippax is a village far east of the city next to Great Preston and Garforth.



Things to Do


This nature reserve is great for walks with the dogs or with the family. The dogs must be kept on a leash at all times; the tracks are easy to follow and are suitable for short and long walks.

If you fancy a walk with the family, particularly the little ones, why not head over to the Muddy Boots Mum 1.5 kilometre family route. This woodland based route might open doors of curiosity onto the fairy paths.


Running around Townclose Hills Nature Reserve is appeal for all types of joggers and runners.

If you want to extend the circular route around the reserve, you can jump onto ‘the lines’ and run for miles towards Garforth and Allerton Bywater. This long stretch on a flat route was once a railway cutting line.


These same paths are suitable for cycling. The lines, also known as the Leeds Country Way, which is over 3-miles in length, travels through varying habitats and makes for a lovely scenic ride.


The delights of the rich animal wildlife is something that will keep you coming back to visit Townclose Hills Nature Reserve. In the daytime keep a look out for butterflies like the gatekeeper, speckled wood and comma.

Birdwatchers can spot types like the yellowhammer, fieldfare and lesser spotted woodpecker. And for the late night strollers you might notice the light of a female glow worms seeking a mate during the dusk of a summer evening.


The wood is the most dominant part of the site and makes for an interesting and diverse tree population. Those interested in trees can record wych elm, sycamore, hawthorn, blackthorn ash and the regionally rare ploughman’s spikenard.

Once through the trees you will be welcomed by stunning meadows filled with bellflower, field scabious and orchids on top of the back drop of gorgeous views of the Yorkshire countryside.


The range of attractive woodland and wild meadows makes Townclose Hills Nature Reserve a perfect place to have a picnic.

Take a Picture!

A part of the nature reserve sits on a hill that makes for a clear view over the rolling countryside. On a clear day bring your camera to snap a panoramic view of God’s own country.

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Townclose Hills comprises a steep-sided grassland formed from a disused railway cutting. This grassland plateau became a Site of Scientific Special Interest in 1984 because it is one of the largest examples of magnesian limestone over 1-hecatre.

In the UK, there are hundreds of secret, forgotten railways, often known as cuttings or embankments,  many of these are reclaimed by natures, like Townclose Hills.


The nearest public toilet is a couple of minutes walk away at Kippax Leisure Centre.

Benches are dotted around the paths in the nature reserve. And there are rubbish and dog waste bins around the site.

Food and Drink

A 15-minute walk into the centre of Kippax will bring you to Cross Hills where there are over 5-cafes-and-restaurants.


There is plenty of free public parking at Kippax Leisure Centre, LS25 7LQ (Google Map Directions)




The nature reserve is not suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs due to the uneven, steep and narrow stretches of path.

Townclose Hills sits on-top of limestone that is renowned for having large cracks – take care on this as your feet could get trapped.

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