Bishop Wood is a large, commercial wood a few minutes’ drive from (and about halfway between) Selby and Sherburn in Elmet.
It is managed as a commercial wood by Forest Enterprise, but their activities are limited and seldom interfere with birdwatching. It is planted predominantly with poplar, pine and sycamore trees but native trees such as Alder and Oak can also be found.
A good range of typical woodland birds can be seen and include Woodcock, Tawny Owl, Great Spotted Woodpecker and a range of the commoner warblers and finches. There is a small heronry and Nuthatches are now seen with some regularity, whilst Common Crossbills are occasional visitors. Long-eared Owls and Nightjars have occurred in the past.
No particular areas stand out and a general exploration of the wood should reveal several of the target species. Silver-washed Fritillaries can be seen along the woodland rides in summer.
Park in Dutchman’s Car Park (OS sheet 105, SE560332). This is on Scalm Lane, the west-east road from Biggin Bridge on the B1222 between Cawood and Sherburn. From the bridge follow sign towards Scalm Park and after 2km (and before you get to Scalm Park) Dutchman’s Car Park is on the north side of the road. There are additional parking spaces and these combine with a network of paths to allow easy access to other parts of the wood (e.g. at SE554333). Parking is free and the main paths are wide and flat, though some areas can be muddy at times.
By Paul Doherty, July 2015 (revised Feb 2023)