Eaves Wood Circular Walk
Soak in the atmosphere of the woods with their mossy limestone outcrops and distinctive trees and enjoy the surrounding views from the highest point at the Pepperpot.
Eaves Wood car park
Walk through the main gate at the car park onto the track which takes you into the woods. This path meanders through the woodland up to the finger post which is straight in front of you. At this point turn left - the signpost is directing you to the 'Pepperpot'.
This section of Eaves Wood is ancient woodland and contains some of the most fragile habitat in the whole of Eaves Wood, so much so that it is designated a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is of national importance. In spring it is a patchwork of flowers - bluebells, primroses, violets, wood anemone and more. As you walk along the track there are lime trees just before you reach the finger post. These limes have all grown from one original lime tree thought to be over 1000 years old. If you can identify them you'll see that there is a ring of them.
Continue along the track until you reach a side path leading uphill to the right. Take this path, walking until you reach the finger post. Take care when walking over the limestone outcrops as these can be slippery when wet.
This track is known locally as Inman's Road after Robert Inman who owned Eaves Wood and the surrounding Hill House estate from 1808. It was expanded by Thomas Inman in 1825. By 1858 a mill owner called Christopher Ward bought Hill House and demolished it to rebuild what we now know as the Woodlands Pub in Silverdale.
At the finger post take the path in front of you which heads up the slope still following the signs for the Pepperpot. Ignore the path which is immediately to the right. Slowly climb up the hill and where the path levels you will see a log on the ground on your right and also a way marker post. At this point take the main path to your left.
There are some wonderful trees in Eaves Wood and if you visit regularly you might have your favourites too. From towering beech trees whose silky, bright green leaves add such colour in the spring to the wonderful yew trees which thrive here and are a native evergreen.
This path takes you through some old yew trees with amazing tree roots. The ground can get muddy in the winter along here. Continue along this main track. There's a stone seat on your right which is a welcome stopping point for tired legs. Continue up the 4 staggered stone steps and along through what feels like an old gateway. Remember this gateway for later on in the walk.The area here feels much more open.
You will see a lot of yew trees around Arnside and Silverdale and Eaves Wood is no exception. They are one of the longest-lived native species in Europe and provide homes for birds like goldcrests and firecrests. They're one of the only conifers which don't produce their seeds in a cone but in a red,fleshy berry called an 'aril'. Take care if you touch a yew as all parts of the tree are poisonous and their leaves are used in anti-cancer drugs. If you're a fan of archery you'll be interested to know that yew timber is used to make long bows.
Continue along the path through this open clearing ignoring any paths off to the left until you reach a finger post. Opposite the finger post is a little stone path which steeply rises up the hill. Take this path and carefully climb up. You will cross a section of limestone pavement. Take care walking across. Directly in front of you is the Queen Victoria Jubilee Monument known more commonly as the Pepperpot.
Locally called the Pepperpot because of its shape, it was constructed by local builder Mr Bowskill in 1887. The views from here are wonderful and can be different each day. Look out to Ingleborough and the Bowland Fells or Morecambe Bay. On a clear day you can even see Blackpool Tower. This is a great place to see both sunrise and sunset especially if you're a budding photographer or just take a seat and watch the world go by.
Leave the Pepperpot by walking back down the path you came up, through the clearing and back to the stone gateway you past earlier in the walk. Just after the gateway you are going to turn left up 6 small steps and through a small gate. Then continue along the most obvious path.
Cows helping us with conservation work
Throughout this next section of the woods there's a different feel and openness. This is partly due to the cows which sometimes graze this area with the help of our tenant farmer. These cows are hardy and enjoy the variety of shoots and scrub which they can graze on and in turn it helps the flowering plants on the ground to thrive and find space. Take care if you have a dog to keep them on a lead around cattle but let go of the lead if you are approached by a cow and call your dog back later when safe to do so. Cows chosen to graze public spaces are placid and happy to be left alone. Take care along this route as you walk over the gaps in the limestone known as 'grikes'.
Continue along what feels like the most obvious path all the way through this area of woodland. If you're keeping a note of the distances - at around 2.26 km from the start of your walk is what looks like a vehicle track to the right. Ignore this track and carry on along your path. Just ahead you will meet another path. Take this route down to the right until you reach a vehicle gate with an attached kissing gate. Go through the gate and continue down the path.
Carry on straight down and at around 2.57km from the start (if you're tracking your distance) take a smaller path which veers off to the left and continue on this path right the way down until you reach a main track next to a derelict cottage.
Why we're coppicing
The whole of Eaves Wood is part of a management plan to keep the woodland thriving and rich in wildlife. This involves coppicing certain blocks of woodland each year by cutting some trees down to their base to allow them to grow back stronger and let the light flood onto the ground. This added light helps flowers thrive which in turn attracts more insects. By doing this in blocks rather than en masse it provides a mosaic of habitat where birds and other wildlife can adapt and find homes. Although this may look destructive, managing the woodland in this way has been done for centuries here and helps to keep the habitat healthy.
At the derelict cottage turn left onto the track heading downhill, ignoring the path branching off steeply downhill to the right and head under the darker trees downhill past the incredible cliff outcrops of limestone pavement. Carry on down until you reach the bottom of the hill and you're standing between two old stone gateposts.
It's fascinating to see these old remnants of what would have been parts of the original estate dotted around the woods. This derelict cottage used to be the old gamekeepers cottage for the Inman estate. If you're lucky you can often see the odd roe deer grazing around here and throughout the woods at early morning or at quieter times of the day. The view from here takes in Leighton Hall and to the left Trowbarrow quarry.
At the two stone gateposts at the bottom of your path turn right and head towards the finger post in front of you. This is the finger post you first past at the beginning of the walk. Take a left here back towards the car park on the path you walked up at the beginning of the walk and continue straight back to the car park to end your walk. Once you've tried this route why not discover one of the many other paths winding through the woods.
Eaves Wood car park
You made it
Following this trail on mobile or tablet? Share your experience.