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Bolton Percy Station Nature Reserve

Nature has taken hold of this old station yard - bramble scrambles over the old platform, flower-filled grassland grows where once there were rail tracks and scrub growth provides sheltered scallops filled with fluttering butterflies and moths in the summer months.

Update January 2018: **Please note: Access to the reserve is currently limited and we are currently investigating some access issues. Please telephone 01904 659570 to check that the reserve is open prior to your visit. **


Once a railway goods platform and still lying next to the Leeds-York railway line, this nature reserve covers the old platform and bridge embankments.

Areas of the ground are cindery, while in other places you can see the remains of dumped rail-track ballast. The plant life here suggests a limestone influence, with primrose growing on the neighbouring railway banks.

Wildflowers in the grassland areas include bird’s-foot trefoil, dove’s-foot cranesbill and selfheal. There is also a small lower lying damp fen area. The edges of hawthorn scrub on the boundaries are scalloped, providing sheltered areas where you can get good views of butterflies and moths including common blue, two species of burnet moth and latticed heath.


The scrub is controlled in the grassland area and some of the areas in front of the station platform wall to benefit the butterflies. This year bat and bird boxes and habitat piles have been put up and created as part of the railway works.


Top Tip:


Enjoy a warm June day with a visit to view a range of butterflies. They can often be found sunning themselves on the old platform wall.


Hedge bottom plants such as garlic mustard and red campion, along with longer areas of tussocky grass provide homes for gatekeeper, wall and small heath. Peacock and red admiral butterflies can be seen basking on the south east facing wall of the old platform, and bramble is controlled creating sheltered sun traps. Four amphibian species have been recorded here including great crested newt.


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Bolton Percy lies about three miles south-east from Tadcaster.

From Tadcaster: Follow Oxton Lane over the A64. Keep going for around 2 miles, passing Station Farm and crossing a railway bridge. 400m after the railway bridge is a sharp left turn. Follow this track 400m to another left turn; on this road cars can be left.

From Bolton Percy: Head towards Tadcaster. There is a sharp right turn as you leave the village, where you will see the cricket club to your left. The main road then bends to the left whilst another track continues straight – follow this track 400m to another left turn; on this road cars can be left.

This map is available to download to help direct you to where your car can be parked.

The main section of the reserve is accessed through the gate at the bottom of the track. This main gate is locked to obstruct car access but just to the right is a field gate. Go through this gate and turn left to get back onto the track behind the main gate. Network rail still retains access to the site so the roadway and gateways must not be blocked.

Want to see more of Bolton Percy Station Nature Reserve before your visit? Have a look below.

Bolton Percy Station Nature Reserve photos in our Flickr group



Nearby nature reserves

Askham Bog Nature Reserve
5 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Sherburn Willows Nature Reserve
6 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Ledsham Bank Nature Reserve
8 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Bolton Percy
North Yorkshire
YO23 7AW
Map reference
SE 527 416
Great for...
a family day out
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
1.70 hectares
Permissive footpaths. Do not climb fences to the railway lines. Contact the Trust for disabled access information.
Walking information
Permissive footpaths. Please keep all dogs on leads. Do not climb fences to the railway lines.
Limited roadside parking available.
No dogs allowed
Reserve manager
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01904 659570


Factsheets and guides for your visit