HAIL MARY HILL
AND FALCONER WOODS
Hail Mary Hill Wood and Falconer Wood form the northern and southern ends respectively of a continuous block of woodland lying on the western side of the Rother Valley between Treeton and Aughton, about four miles south of the centre of Rotherham. Hail Mary Hill and Falconer Woods are attractive woodlands, particularly as a result of their waterside setting. Because of both this, and the way in which they lie close to a number of populated areas, the woodlands are well used for recreation and in addition they form an excellent resource for use by local schools. The site has a good network of paths, some of which can be used by people in wheelchairs, and is also partially accessible to horses.
Most of the site is dominated by dry, acid semi-natural woodland characterised by a mixture of Birch and Oak but it also contains a range of other habitats including wet woodland and an open area of acid grassland on the summit of Hail Mary Hill. In addition, Treeton Brook flows through the valuable wetland area of Treeton Marsh before entering the open water of Treeton Dyke. As a result of this variety of habitats, the site contains a range of interesting plants and animals, including some that are rare or unusual in the Rotherham area.
Although, compared to other Heritage Woodlands, historical records for the two woodlands are relatively sparse, both are thought to be of ancient origin, meaning that they have been in existence for at least the last 400 years. Evidence for this comes from their diverse floras, their situation on a slope, their location in the corner of a parish, and the way in which the two woodlands are divided from one another by a woodland bank. Close to the summit of Hail Mary Hill is an archaeological site dating from the Middle Stone Age period, where the raw materials, chert and flint, were fashioned into tools used for a variety of purposes.
Other nearby Heritage Woodlands are: