Jacob  Smith  Park

Owned by Harrogate CC 

Friends of  Jacob Smith Park

Site Details

Transect walkers : Julia Hatch                 Length 1946m                     Walk Time  approx  1 hour                Alititude  60m

An area of ex-grazing land used as a public park, mainly by dog walkers commonly known as Guiseley Hill  includes a good number of  ancient Oak. Millstone grit  but surrounded by Magnesian limestone.  The land bequeathed to Harrogate Borough Council with covenants to maintain for wildlife and access.  Now managed by North Yorkshire Council, paths are usually mown 3 times a year and the areas of grassland cut once during the summer/autumn.  The cut grass is no longer collected and is left to rot down. Between 2022 and 2024 a programme of Himalayan Balsam control has been taking place, around the park perimeter and beneath trees. It has involved mechanically cutting the balsam and, consequentially, other surrounding vegetation, usually taking place early July.

Grasslands vary in quality but there are already good areas of herb rich sward. but are actively with limited resources being improved with reseeding with wild flowers.  


S1 + S2: To right side of path, narrow man-made woodland of young trees - ash, beech, birch, hazel, cherry. Dense nettle beds line right side of path.  To the left of path, tall grasses of ex-grazing land, mix of many grass species including meadow grass, cocksfoot, false oat grass, meadow foxtail.

S3: To the right of path, large south west facing areas of mixed tall herbs, mainly thistles, some bramble thickets and mature woodland beyond. To the left, low growing grasses and mix of flowers including yellow rattle, sorrel, buttercup

S4: Right side of path is shady seasonally wet ground and pond which drains along the park perimeter.  Nettles and boggy grass, with privately owned woodland beyond.  To the left of the path is low growing grasses and a mix of flowers including rattle, buttercup, plantains.  Scattered large oak trees beyond.

S5: Area of damp meadow of low growing grasses recently sown with wildflower mix, including rattle, buttercup, sorrel, plantains, common spotted orchid, germander speedwell, birds foot trefoil.  On the perimeter of the meadow are tickets of bramble, ivy and dense areas of nettles. Also small trees have been planted including holly, hawthorn, blackthorn.

S6: A short section of woodland edge and glades, mainly beech and horse chestnut.  Very little low growing scrub. Stone built high wall to the right.  Beyond the wood, to the left, is grassland.

S7:Medium height grasses and flower rich sunny bank.  Scattered large old oak trees.  Newly planted (2024) woodland extension beyond may have an influence in the future.

S8: Tall growing mixed grasses with docks and thistles in places, open aspect.

S9: To the right of the path is tall growing mixed grasses of ex-grazing land. To the left are scattered old oak trees, fenced. Scrub thickets of bramble and hawthorn are also along left side of the path.

Results 2024