Twywell Hills and Dales is a 135 acre countryside site which takes its name from the abandoned quarry workings which created its undulating landscape. Most of the site has been allowed to revert back to nature and it is now a haven for rare wildlife, especially within the Gullet area. The site has three distinct areas.
Whitestones is an area where limestone quarrying took place, which now consists of open grassland and a series of vegetated spoil heaps and damp hollows. The abandoned spoil heaps are covered in limestone grassland, which is now extremely rare in Northamptonshire, and provides valuable habitat for less common insect and butterfly species.
The Gullet is a deep gorge-like quarry formed by digging deep for ironstone. The area has been designated a SSSI because of its rich wildlife. Plants growing on this part of the site include bee orchids and hart’s tongue ferns, whilst the pond is home to a variety of invertebrates and to a colony of great crested newts.
The Wood is mainly coniferous and was created after the ironstone extraction ceased, beginning with the planting of European larch in 1932. Further planting took place during the 1950s including Corsican pine, Scot’s pine and sycamore. The wood contains a network of wide grassy rides, from where you may be fortunate to see fallow or muntjac deer.
Twywell Hills and Dales offers a choice of waymarked trails within the site as well as marked routes leading to surrounding villages. A car park is provided is just off the A14, junction 11, on the road to Cranford. For more information about Twywell Hills and Dales please go to the downloads section where we have the leaflet with a map of the site providing more information.
Rockingham Forest Trust manage Twywell Hills and Dales in partnership with The Wildlife Trust and The Woodland Trust.
Download and print the Twywell Hills and Dales leaflet