Woodland in Leeds

Leeds has over 3,660 hectares of woodland. Around one third of this is owned and managed by the council, and is free for you to enjoy throughout the year.

Of this, 20% is ancient semi-natural woodland, which means that it has remained wooded since at least 1600 AD. The largest piece of ancient woodland in West Yorkshire is Middleton Woods in south Leeds. 

Other notable sites include Chevin Forest Park in Otley, Meanwood Wood and Woodhouse Ridge in the Meanwood Valley and country estates such as Temple Newsam, Roundhay Park and Lotherton Hall.

The Forest of Leeds

The Forest of Leeds, created in 1993, is a Leeds City Council initiative which embraces all the woodlands under council control and manages them for both people and wildlife.

The initiative has a clear vision:

  • To build a pleasant environment where people can work and play
  • To manage existing woodland as a sustainable resource to help the city adapt to climate change
  • To increase woodland and tree cover
  • To transform derelict land into an attractive and valued landscape
  • To encourage sustainable development and prosperity
  • To increase structural diversity within restricted age class woodlands and plantations
  • To increase biodiversity across all woodlands (“natural” woodland types)

The Forest of Leeds, managed by the council's Parks and Countryside team, meets the requirements of the UK Woodland Assurance Standard and is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification for meeting high standards of sustainable management.​​​​​​​​



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