Northcliffe Park

  • Northcliffe Park, Bradford Road, BD18
  • Open 24 hours a day all year round
  • Bowling green
  • Children's play area
  • Tennis court
  • Walking routes
  • Wildlife

Northcliffe Park, Shipley, United Kingdom

Northcliffe Park is made up of Northcliffe Woods and Norman Rae Playing Fields. These lovely woods and fields together make up an area of the countryside which appeals to many different people. From bird – or bat – watching, to playing football, beautiful Northcliffe Park has something to offer to everyone.

Natural history

Although the site has been heavily influenced by humans there is much wildlife to experience.  The meadow provides niches for numerous invertebrates to shelter, feed, and breed.  While the flowers provide pollen and nectar the grasses provide a food source for the caterpillars of many moth and butterfly species.

Tawny mining bee (Andrena fulva) females burrow into the soil amongst short grass to make their nest cells. Look for what appear to be mini volcanoes where the bees enter with pollen to provision the nest. Photograph: Andrew Cutts

The male tawny mining bee is more orange than red in colour and smaller than the female. A white “moustache” can aid in identification. Photograph: Andrew Cutts

Mown grassland areas provide feeding opportunities for starlings, thrushes, and gulls.  Mature trees within the woodland offer natural cavities for hole-nesting birds and roosting bats.  The likes of jackdaw and tawny owl depend upon such holes for nesting sites.  However, you may have noticed a new bird in town, the ring-necked parakeet, that is now using some of the larger tree holes for nesting.

Ivy grows up some of the trees and contrary to popular belief it does not damage the tree.  This evergreen climber is one of the last plants to flower in the year.  The buzz of insects is often heard prior to seeing any activity when walking near mature ivy on an autumn day.  Red admiral butterflies, wasps, hoverflies, and bees lap up the nectar and eat the pollen.  Once pollinated the small black fruits of ivy develop and in turn provide valuable winter food to birds such as blackbird and woodpigeon.

A striking male blackbird gorges on a crop of ivy berries. Photograph: Andrew Cutts