Bolton Percy Station Nature Reserve
Update January 2018: **Please note: Access to the reserve is currently limited as we investigate some access issues. Please telephone 01904 659570 to check that the reserve is open prior to your visit. **
Know before you go
Parking informationLimited parking available. Please refer to the download below for information
Permissive footpaths. Please keep all dogs on leads. Do not climb fences to the railway lines.
Not accessible to wheelchair users,
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitJune to September
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. Bat and bird boxes and habitat piles have been put up and created as part of the railway works.
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.
- Spring: Plants - Primrose
- Summer: Plants - Red campion; Birds - Peacock; Lesser Whitethroat
- Autumn: Invertebrates - Red admiral; Birds - Linnet
- Winter: Birds- Bullfinch
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.
Please refer to the map below with regards car parking.
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.