By John Grainger, Property editor
Who wouldn’t want to live near a wood?
Woodlands abound with benefits – they help to regulate the climate and water levels, prevent soil erosion, provide wildlife habitats and improve air quality. Not least, of course, they look fantastic.
But living near a wood – in this country, at least – is easier said than done. According to the Woodland Trust’s State of the UK’s forests, woods and trees report, the UK is one of the least wooded countries in Europe.
Woodland covers just 13 per cent of the UK – much less than many other countries. The figure for the whole of the EU is 37 per cent; in Japan, it’s a highly enviable 64 per cent.
Even within the UK, the figure varies widely. In Scotland, it’s 17 per cent; in England, it’s 10 per cent.
In Yorkshire, though, it’s just 6 per cent. If it were an independent state, it would be the least wooded in Europe, apart from Denmark.
There are moves afoot to change this, though; the Government has set a target of 6.5 per cent for the whole of Yorkshire by 2016, necessitating the creation of 4,000 hectares of new woodland.
Nevertheless, Yorkshire’s tree cover is not going to be dense any time soon. Yet it’s that rarity that makes it all the more desirable.
The following four properties all have woodlands on their doorstep and all are for sale in our area.
The Laurels (left) is a spacious stone-built home in Bewerley.
The semi-detached Victorian villa is spacious, with four double bedrooms, cellar and a loft, which is in the process of being converted.
It has period features, such as plaster cornicing and sash windows, and outside has a low-maintenance garden and views of Pateley Bridge.
Importantly, it is also near several patches of public woodland; Fishponds Wood (formerly known as White Woods) is a just few minutes’ walk away, and the woods near Eagle Hall are just up the hill.
Number 61 Harlow Moor Drive (main pic) is just across the road from the Pinewoods, at the top end of the Valley Gardens in Harrogate, which gives flat 3, on the first floor, some beautiful views from its balcony.
The two-bed property is open-plan and has a private parking space. It’s also near the highly sought-after amenities of Cold Bath Road.
Rose Cottage (top) is a single-storey stone-built cottage on the old estate of Oaklands Manor, near Scarcroft.
Originally built around 600 years ago in an elevated position overlooking the surrounding countryside, it has three bedrooms, garage, gardens and paddock totalling around three acres.
The nearby network of bridleways leads to Scarcroft and through Hetchell Woods to Bardsey.
Finally, Summerstone Lodge (above) commands breathtaking views down Nidderdale from its perch above Lofthouse.
The two-storey house has four bedrooms and a detached coach house, which has potential for conversion.
The Nidderdale Way runs along the back of the property, and it also has 1.4 acres of ground, including about half and acre of its very own pine woodland.