In its day, Bentley Colliery was an important focal point for the communities surrounding Bentley, but the closure of the pit in 1993 presented an opportunity to transform the site into a resource for all of the community to enjoy.
The site is a mixture of deciduous and coniferous woodland which offers colour and variety throughout the year. A unique 12-hectare wetland is an important feature of site, hosting a variety of wildfowl and seasonal migrants.
The waymarked trails around the site are perfect for walking, cycling, horse riding and watching wildlife.
Bentley Community Woodland is a beautiful 93 hectare site on what was previously the industrial and inaccessible slagheap for Bentley Colliery.
What do other visitors say?
5 StarsTina Grimes, 20/Jun/2015
We visited the woodlands for the first time recently, bringing the daughters horse with us. We had a wonderful day, such a beautiful place! The only problem we found was despite being aware horse riding was allowed, we could not fit the trailer under the barrier into the car park so had to park & unload on the road. We will be regular visitors, as it's a fantastic place to ride without having to deal with traffic as we sadly have no bridleways near us. Well worth the 10 minute drive! x
4 Stars7sanjose, 16/Nov/2014
Hi I've been using the woodlands for 4 years now and always will.There's always going to be good and bad points it all depends on your viewpoint.Anyway I think the place is improving with age and the wildlife gets more interesting.The bad stuff is the people who use it with intent of vandalism,that is amazing,they go and spend hours there for recreational purposes and then persue the fine art of criminal damage.I've seen families barbequing and picnicing and left no mess.Its just the chosen few who don't give a hoot.For those of us that enjoy the area it tends to put a dampener on our visit but we still keep going.If you are one of those vandals please stay at home and trash your own place,I'm sure your families would be proud of you.For the rest of us please keep visiting the woodland and enjoy the place.
Forestry Commission Response
Many thanks for your comment, really glad you like the site.
5 StarsJohn Oxley, 16/Sep/2014
As a dog owner I regularly us the woodland and spend 2-3 hours wandering around and exploring all corners of the woodland, I love to drop in at the lake to see if we have any visitors, only a week and half ago we had upwards of 200 canadian geese and a few wild geese that stayed for 4-5 days and the other day there were 8 swans on the lake, some of them were youg ones. I have seen many animals around the place including Ducks,Geese, swans, coots, moorhens,deer ,rabbits,squirrels pheasants, voles, mice, dragonflies and many different birds including birds of prey.
I would not want to see the place developed with a cafe, picnic area, boating or fishing as these bring ther own inherent problems and disturb the wildlife. Bins as stated would cost money to empty and probably attract rats into the bargain. I know the place is often used by horse riders as I meet many of them and cyclists passing through.
If your bothered by wet and muddy conditions - wear boots or wellies.
If you consider the litter to be an eyesore then pick it up or maybe we can organise litterpicks now and again to get people involved in keeping this unique area pristine.
As for motorbike users take their photos and send them to the forestry commission who manage the area and let them deal with it.
I say leave it wild as this is home for lots of creatures who live here - we are the visitors.
Forestry Commission Response
Many thanks for your comments. I have passed you details on to the site ranger. We have regular volunteer sessions at Bentley, which include litter picking the site. We would also ask that when a member of the public see a motorbike on site that they would ring the Police on 101 to report it. Thanks