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Clay Bank and Greenhow Plantation

Clay Bank and Greenhow Plantation

The car park and picnic area at Clay Bank is a popular stop for its dramatic views across the Cleveland plain, with the twin landmarks of Roseberry Topping and the Captain Cook Monument rising in the distance. This circular 3-mile walk makes the best of the sweeping views while also offering a shady route through Greenhow Plantation.

Walk info

Great for:
woodland wanders, nature nuts, big-sky views
3 miles (4.8km)
1 hour 30 minutes
Forestry England car park at Clay Bank, B1257 Helmsley to Stokesley road
Grid Ref:
NZ 572 035
OS Map:
Ordnance Survey OL26
Chop Gate (2¾ miles/4.4km south)
Chop Gate Village Hall

About this walk

WalkThe first short section of the route is along a minor road, with the rest of the walk along well-defined forest tracks. There are several uphill and downhill sections, but no stiles. The walk is mostly on Forestry England access land, and so tracks may occasionally be closed for tree felling or other operations, although the land is usually always open at weekends.

DogsYou can let your dog off the lead in Forestry England woods, but always make sure they are under control. Greenhow Plantation is used by horse-riders – please keep your dog on a lead when horses pass.

Greenhow Plantation

Forestry England has a long-term plan to restore the ancient woodland at Ingleby Greenhow and create varying habitats for wildlife and plants. Where conifers have been cleared, their place has been quickly taken by alder, rowan, willow, oak and birch. Eventually, almost half the woodland here will feature native trees – a stark contrast with the past when conifers were planted en masse after World War I to provide a strategic timber resource for the country.

However, natural regeneration and woodland restoration has its own challenges. Birch, for example, grows faster than other the species and needs thinning out so that all the trees can flourish. It doesn't go to waste though. Birch timber from Greenhow is used to build and repair racecourse fences and ends up at racecourses right across Britain.