Middleton Park is situated 4 miles from the city centre in urban south Leeds. Of its 470 acres, 200 are ancient woodland and a designated nature reserve. There are also large areas of sweeping grassland, an 18 hole golf course and a multitude of footpaths and bridleways.
Middleton Woods Local Nature Reserve is the largest ancient woodland in Leeds and has been continuously wooded since at least 1600. Oak dominates the woodland which together with streams and ponds, provide a refuge for numerous mammals, birds and amphibians.
Many species of insects and fungi can be found in the woods together with a profusion of wildflowers including bluebells and the less common yellow archangel.
As well as its rich natural history, Middleton also has a fascinating cultural history including coal mining and the Middleton Railway. The bowl-shaped pits found in the woods are the remains of an early form of coal mining dating back to at least the 17th century. In recognition of its industrial and historical importance, part of the woodland, including mining remains and waggonways, was scheduled as an ancient monument in 1998.
The Friends of Middleton Park (FoMP) help to promote both the wildlife and history of the park and throughout the summer provide events and activities every Sunday afternoon.
The support of FoMP was instrumental in Leeds City Council embarking on a £2.2 million Parks for People project. The project will see major capital improvements in Middleton Park as well as opportunities for more people to get involved. The Parks for People project is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund.
Other financial support came from Leeds City Council and Wades Charity.
For more information please contact the Estate Officer, Graeme Ashton, on 0113 3957400.
Getting to Middleton Park: Buses 2, 12 & 13A all go from Leeds City Centre to Middleton, within 5 minutes walk of the park and number 13 stops outside the main entrance on Town Street. For more information see www.wymetro.com.
The free car park can be accessed from Town Street, Middleton.