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Saltmarshe Delph Nature Reserve

The mosaic of habitats at Saltmarshe Delph are well worth a visit.

There is no access to the footpath and hide at Saltmarshe Delph Nature Reserve until further notice due to breeding birds – thank you for your cooperation.


Open water and reedbeds contain lesser reedmace and attract marsh harrier and water rail, whereas in the woodland fringe mature willow, oak and ash grow. Birds of prey often frequent the site so make sure you take the occasional look up during your visit.


Top Tip:


Visit in late spring for willow tits, marsh harriers and water rails. Or come late summer and be on the lookout for dragonflies.


The site is divided neatly into two compartments by the Hull to Doncaster railway, known as the Delph and Willow Garth. In the north east corner is an area of wet willow carr, a habitat which is full of song in spring with redient willow tit joined by reed warbler, blackcap and chiffchaff. In high summer, dragon and damselflies aplenty make themselves at home, with 19 species recorded. Other insects including the lesser stag beetle and ringed china-mark moth can also be found. This rich insect life in turn attracts bats including Daubenton’s. Winter is a great time to see hundreds of ducks of several species on the water.

The Delph was excavated in 1864 to provide spoil for the approach to the railway bridge close by. The Willow Garth to the west of the railway was commercially worked until 1956, providing materials to make agricultural baskets. In 1972 the site become a nature reserve. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust works to keep the ponds and reedbeds in their present condition and to control willow encroachment.


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.


Public Transport

The nearest train stations is at Saltmarshe, which is 2.1 miles from the nature reserve. A Trans-Pennine footpath passes the site.


The nature reserve is 2.5 miles south east of Howden. Turn off the A614 roundabout signed Kilpin and Laxton. Take the Skelton road and proceed through the village, then turn left away from the River Ouse before the railway swing bridge. The nature reserve is 400m along the road to Saltmarshe.


Want to see more of Saltmarshe Delph Nature Reserve before your visit? Have a look below.

Saltmarshe Delph Nature Reserve photos in our Flickr group



Nearby nature reserves

Crowle Moor
7 miles - Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
North Cave Wetlands Nature Reserve
9 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Barlow Common Nature Reserve
9 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Moorfields Lane
East Yorkshire
DN14 7RX
Map reference
SE 775 248
Great for...
a family day out
getting away from it all
Best time to visit
May - Sep
Nov - Feb
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
5.43 hectares

Permissive footpaths. Contact the Trust for disabled access information.
Walking information
Permissive footpaths.
Parking on lane.
No dogs allowed
Reserve manager
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01904 659570


Factsheets and guides for your visit