Burton Riggs Nature Reserve
Know before you go
Parking informationCar park available at the entrance of the reserve.
Permissive footpaths. Swimming and fishing are not allowed. Accessible to wheelchair users.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitMay to September, November to February
An early morning walk in spring can reveal summer migrant birds in the scrub such as whitethroat, blackcap and chiffchaff, with the occasional garden warbler. Grey herons and sometimes a little egret are seen. In winter ducks including pochard and tufted duck gather. The ponds surrounding the lakes have been home to great crested newt for a number of years.
Burton Riggs is bounded mainly by industrial land and housing, which makes it a valuable oasis for wildlife and local people alike. As an artificial site created by gravel quarrying in the 1970s for the construction of the adjacent A64, it is relatively young in wildlife terms, but already has a rich mix of habitats and species to its name. A public footpath runs through part of the nature reserve underneath the A64 road bridge and out into the industrial area to the east. Permissive paths run around the entirety of the site, one route around the smaller lake specially designed for disabled access and the route around the larger lake being a rougher track with steps and boardwalks surmounting boggy and hilly parts.
Wildlife management includes keeping ponds clear from silting up, rotational coppicing of willow around the lakes and increasing the area of woodland so that there is a step-up from two to three patches around the site. The scrub is a vital habitat for small birds and mammals, and is retained as much as possible, only being cut back along the footpaths.
- Spring: Plants - Cowslip; Birds - Willow warbler; Sedge warbler
- Summer: Invertebrates - Common darter; Gatekeeper
- Autumn: Birds - Green sandpiper; Grey heron
- Winter: Birds - Tufted duck; Pochard; Goldeneye; Short-eared owl
Regular bus and train services in Scarborough.
The nature reserve is situated just off the A64 out of Scarborough on the opposite side of the roundabout to the supermarket.