Durham’s Hidden Spaces – Flass Vale

Join us as we discover hidden green spaces in our blog series

As our Move Mates projects expand, we're finding new locations of hidden green spaces - starting with Durham

At Move the Masses HQ we’re always keen to find new green spaces to explore and, as our projects expand, we’ve been delighted to find new spots! 

One of our Durham volunteers has let us know about their favourite hidden green space. This is the fourth blog in our series – check out the others here. Don’t forget to let us know if you visit anywhere new as a result – we always love to hear from you! Likewise, if you have anywhere you think others should know about, please get in touch and we’ll feature it soon: hello@movethemasses.org.uk  

Happy exploring!

Photo of narrow entrance to Flass Vale from A167 with an arrow pointing to the path

The easily missed entrance near Durham Johnston School

People walking along a path with fences on both sides

The narrow path that leads to the hidden woodland

How to access Flass Vale…
Flass Vale is a green corridor between the major A167 and Durham city centre. City housing estates run either side of it. It is a quite a remarkable place, a mini forest in the middle of the city. There are designated public footpaths running through the vale and six access points; at Flass House, King’s Lodge, Valeside, Larches Road, Flassburn Road and Durham Johnston School. There’s also a non-designated footpath leading to the A167 from the top of the Vale. 

Show location on Google Maps.

What can I do here?

Follow a path for a few minutes and then you enter an expanse of steep sided woodland, grassland and marsh habitats. You can explore, have a beautiful walk spotting lots of wildlife and flora and generally enjoy feeling like you are out in the wilderness rather than in a city. An added bonus for any little people joining the walk (and big people too) are the rope swings!

A tree with the sun shining through its leaves

Mature tree in the woodland

The footpath with people walking into the woods.

Well walked footpaths within the trees

Did you know…

‘Flass’ is a Scandinavian word meaning marsh. Within Flass Vale, is Maiden’s Bower – a burial mound dating from around 3000 years ago.

A photo of Flass Vale noticeboard depicting a map of the woodland and the wildlife you might find there.

The nature reserve is maintained by volunteers

Photo of a smiling girl on a rope swing

Rope swings are fun for little and big people alike

The Friends of Flass Vale community group  (established in 2002) and their volunteers manage the area to enhance biodiversity of woodland grassland and marsh habitats – and maintain and improve access for visitors.

Find out more  about the facilities on offer here, and don’t forget, if you decide to visit as a result of this article, please take a snap and let us know!

You can always tag us on @move.map on Instagram, or feel free to drop us an email: hello@movethemasses.org.uk 

Share this post