Ledsham

Wildflower meadow at Ledsham Bank Nature Reserve

Marsh orchids are amongst the flowers that bloom in summer.

Ledsham Bank Nature Reserve

A botanist's dream come midsummer, Ledsham Bank is alive with colour from the fantastic displays of wildflowers.

Location

Holyrood Lane
Ledsham
West Yorkshire
LS25 5LL
Ledsham
LS25 5LL
A static map of Ledsham Bank Nature Reserve

Know before you go

Grazing animals

Cattle and sheep graze in the winter months.

Access

Access via the field

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open all year

Best time to visit

June to July

About the reserve

Situated in a north-south-running valley on the magnesian limestone, the nature reserve supports vivid spikes of pyramidal, common spotted and fragrant orchids which are scattered around the site creating an amazing show in June and July. Other typical limestone loving plants here include hoary plantain, yellow-wort, and impressive stands of the bright yellow dyer’s greenweed – rare in Yorkshire. In spring there is a good show of cowslip across the site. Later in summer field scabious and common knapweed give showy purple and pink flowers. A mature hedgerow runs down the west side of the nature reserve, providing food and shelter for winter finches and thrushes. A surprising number of butterflies have also been recorded here including small and large skippers, common and holly blues and commas. The nature reserve is managed to enhance the limestone grassland by controlling invasive scrub and weed species such as ragwort, hogweed and burdock. Grazing cattle and sheep help with this management through the winter months.

Contact us

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01904 659570
Contact email: info@ywt.org.uk

Directions

Take Junction 42 off the A1 (M) towards Ledsham/Kippax. Cross the first roundabout and take the first exit onto the A1246 on the second roundabout. Take the first right onto Holyrood Lane, after approximately 800 metres park in the layby on the left. Access to the site is a little further along.

Seasonal Highlights

  • Spring: Plants - Cowslip, Holly blue
  • Summer: Plants - Centaury, Dyer's Greenwood; Invertebrates - Butterflies - Large skipper and Common blue
  • Autumn: Birds - Little owl and Nuthatch
  • Winter: Birds - Redwing, Fieldfare and Siskin