Friends of Judy Woods


Judy Woods is owned by Bradford Metropolitan District Councils Leisure Services and is managed by their Parks & Landscapes Service. Bob Thorp and his team are responsible for the management – please go to'Contacts' page for contact details.



There are four species of bats that use the woods (as far as we know!):

- Brown Long-Eared (Plecotus auritus):

Brown Long-eared Bat

This is a medium sized bat (head and body length = 37 – 48mm). Can be seen feeding at the woodland edge, picking insects off leaves and bark, which is known as ‘gleaning’. These bats are bats are known as ‘whispering bats’ due to their quiet echolocation sound. It is the second most common bat species in this country.

- Daubenton’s: (Myotis daubentonii)

Daubenton's Bat

Another medium sized species (head and body length = 45 – 55mm). It often flies and feeds off insects a couple of centimetres above the water surface. Hence, the old name for this species is ‘water bat’. In Britain it is pretty widespread up to Northern Scotland.

- Noctule: (Nyctalus noctula)


It is one of the largest bat species in Britain (head and body length = 60 – 82mm). It is often the first bat to appear in the evening, sometimes even before sunset. They fly in the open, often well above the tree top level, with repeated steep dives during the insect chase. In suburban areas, Noctules are often attracted to street lights to feed off the moths. It is still a fairly common species in this country.

- Pipistrelle: (Pipistrellus pipistrellus & Pipistrellus pygamaeus)


These are the smallest bats in this country (head and body length = 35 – 45mm), but they can still eat up to 3000 insects per night! They are also the most common species in Britain, especially in our towns. They have a fast and jerky flight as they dodge about chasing insects. Now there are recognised to be two species of Pipistrelle, which have slightly different echolocation signals.

Above information provided by the ‘Bat Conservation Trust’ website (please see ‘Links’ page).


Judy Woods is home to a wide variety of birds, some of which can be seen all year round, others as Summer or Winter visitors. The woods provide nesting sites for birds and food in the form of insects and seed. Many of the birds at Judy Woods require holes in trees to nest in, the most obvious being the woodpeckers including the Green and Greater Spotted Woodpeckers. Other birds also rely on these tree holes to nest in including Stock doves, Jackdaw, Nuthatch, and Tawny owl. Even the more familiar birds such as Blue tit, Great tit and Starling make nests inside tree holes. All these birds are present year round at Judy Woods.

In the Springtime migrant birds from Africa arrive at the woods to breed and leave before the Winter sets in, these include three warbler species; Chiffchaff, Willow warbler and Blackcap. In recent times winters have been so mild that many Blackcaps have remained in this country rather than migrate back to Africa. As Winter sets in another group of migrant birds make Judy Woods their home to escape harsh winters further north in Scandinavia and continental Europe. The Redwing and Fieldfare, both members of the Thrush family, feed on berries at the edge of the woods and in the fields surrounding them.

Above information provided by Ian Butterfield, Project Manager of the Forest of Bradford - please see 'Contacts' and 'Links' pages


Roe deer have also been spotted in the woods (see photo opposite - apologies for the poor quality. Thanks to Frank Thompson for letting us use his photo).



Judy Woods has many different varieties of fungi. There is an annual Mushroom Walk (please see 'Events' page), where you can learn all about the different mushrooms that grow in woods.

Bracket Fungus
Beech Bracket (Pseudotrametes gibbosa) Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus)
Common Stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus)
The above photos were taken in Judy Woods by Sal Bullimore
Sheathed/Two-tone Woodtuft (Kuehneromyces mutabilis) Coral Fungus (Ramaria spp.)
the above photos were taken in Judy Woods by Alan Gee


Beech is very common in Judy Woods, as it was a fashionable tree to plant in the 18th Century for both it’s attractive looks and use, as it provided the wood to make bobbins and shuttles for the textile industry that once thrived in Bradford and the surrounding area. The beech are gradually being replaced by the planting of birch and oak, which are the usual species of trees found in woodlands in this part of the country.

Judy Woods has a number of dead standing trees, which have been made safe, and logs from felled trees as these act as good homes for bats, birds and mushrooms.


There is wide variety of wildflowers in Judy Woods, but it is well known locally for its fine display of bluebells during the Spring - start of May seems to the best time. Many local people have fond memories of walking in Judy Woods with the bluebells in flower.

Bluebells are a protected species and it is therefore, illegal to pick the them. Please respect them and help keep them in our woods.


Bluebells in Judy Woods

(Click on image for larger view)