In spring a visual feast of marsh flowers can be enjoyed at this spring-fed Yorkshire Wolds nature reserve, whilst later in summer marsh orchids abound.
North Newbald Becksies is fed by several clear chalk springs which are almost never known to dry up.
The water remains at a remarkably constant temperature of 9°C throughout the year and can be seen steaming on cold winter mornings. The terrain of the nature reserve is fairly undulating and in most areas extremely wet – wellies are a must; though there is a drier section at the north east corner.
Visit in spring to witness the greatest variety and colour of marsh flowers. The marsh orchids flower later.
By far the most interesting sections of the site are the open marshy areas which contain a good range of marsh plants including abundant marsh orchids, said to be a hybrid swarm of mainly Dactylorhiza praetermissa, though other species do occur. Another special plant is bog bean – a rarity in this part of Yorkshire. Grass of Parnassus was recorded as recently as the mid 1990s and may still be present. Moorhen and snipe occur in the wetter areas. Water shrews are present and there have been sightings of water voles.
The Trust looks after the nature reserve by removing scrub which encroaches on to the marsh and also reduce the abundance of greater willowherb and meadowsweet to allow other plants to prosper. The marsh was originally used for pasturing cattle from the village while they were waiting to be milked and as such is classed as common land. Today, a small number of cattle are used to assist with site management through summer grazing.
Discover Yorkshire’s Wildlife
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Discover Yorkshire’s Wildlife book, which has detailed information on all of Yorkshire Wildlife and Sheffield Wildlife Trust’s reserves, is available to buy now from our online shop.
Irregular bus service from Market Weighton to North Newbald village.
Just east of North Newbald village on the south side of the Beverley road, five miles south of Market Weighton. Park considerately in the village (or arrive by bus), and then walk the short distance to the site.
Want to see more of North Newbald Becksies Nature Reserve before your visit? Have a look below.