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Sherburn Willows Nature Reserve

Enjoy colourful pasture where butterflies feed on the pink starbursts of greater knapweed flower heads, birds sing from the scrub edge on the bank top, and white park cattle regard you with curiosity as they graze.


A small nature reserve straddling flower-filled magnesian limestone grassland which runs steeply down a slope to a wet area of fen and willow carr woodland.

In spring and summer the grassland is a carpet of colour, changing with the months; cowslip, ox-eye daisy, hairy violet and common knapweed all bloom. Good shows of common spotted orchid, bee orchid and common twayblade bring colour in midsummer. Other species of note as rare locally, include purple milk vetch, sainfoin and pale St John’s-wort. The wildflowers attract many butterflies, moths and other insects.

Reed warbler, reed bunting and chiffchaff all breed on site. The grassland is being restored by removing scrub and grazing with rare breed white park cattle. In the areas of wet woodland Yorkshire Wildlife Trust coppices the willow to keep it rich in wildlife.


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.



Sherburn Willows is situated about two miles north-east of the A1-A63 junction and about one mile from the centre of Sherburn in Elmet. Half-a-mile from the traffic lights on Low Street in Sherburn travelling south towards South Milford turn right along New Lane. The reserve is at the end of this road. Park immediately beyond the end of the houses and continue on foot along the farm track. Turn left through the field gate and the reserve is a few yards further on.





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

Sherburn Willows Nature Reserve photos in our Flickr group



Nearby nature reserves

Ledsham Bank Nature Reserve
2 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Ledston Luck
4 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Kippax Meadows
5 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

New Lane
North Yorkshire
LS25 6AG
Map reference
SE 487 326
Great for...
Best time to visit
May - Sep
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
2.60 hectares
Permissive footpaths. Contact the Trust for disabled access information.
Walking information
Permissive footpaths. Please keep all dogs on leads.
Parking on lane.
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
White park cattle graze the site.
Reserve manager
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01904 659570


Factsheets and guides for your visit