Yearsley Moor (SE5975) is a largish area of man made forest surrounded by agricultural land within the western portion of the Howardian Hills. The area is some 6 miles northeast of Easingwold, just north of Yearsley, west of Gilling East and 2 miles south of Ampleforth. The topography is gentle crests, dissected valleys and steeply sloping escarpments. The area is dominated by conifers notably spruce and pine with some areas of deciduous trees. There are 3 connected fishponds with patches of reeds and water lilies. Periodic felling has added to the diversity providing cleared sections and replanted tracts of different ages.
Most woodland species are likely all year with in winter Crossbill, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Nuthatch , Tits,and Brambling.
Summer months produce Woodcock, Cuckoo, Warblers, Tree Pipit, Spotted and Pied Flycatchers, and Redstart.
There is always hope of Nightjar, Goshawk and Wood Warbler which was seen a few years ago as well as Turtle Dove.
Access is via a number of well defined rides and forest tracks to give a variety of routes used by dog walkers, riders and joggers.
Parking is available off the Yearsley/Ampleforth road to the west of the main wood at SE584752. To the south half a mile east of Yearsley at SE592747 and it is also possible to approach from Gilling East on the east side of the complex.
By Peter Watson, March 2016