Letchmire Pastures Nature Reserve

Letchmire Pastures Nature Reserve

Letchmire Pastures Nature Reserve

When the sun begins to shine and the days get longer delicate bee orchids bloom in this wild, reclaimed former colliery site, where meadows and a young woodland thrive and various dragonfly species dominate the wetland.


Station Road,
Allerton Bywater,
West Yorkshire
WF10 2BW

OS Map Reference

SE 42371 27599
A static map of Letchmire Pastures Nature Reserve

Know before you go

12 hectares

Entry fee


Parking information

None, please do not block entrance to reserve.

Walking trails

Marked walking trail around the site.


Network of paths around the site, however not suitable for wheelchair users. Paths are often muddy.


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

June to September


Letchmire Pastures is a low-lying post-industrial site, now a mosaic of wetland, bare earth, young woodland, grassland and meadow habitats.

The majority of Letchmire Pastures has been landscaped to provide a range of water features, bare colliery spoil, wet grassland, acidic and neutral grasslands, scrub, and hedgerows. The landscaping involved translocation of soils and vegetation and flood alleviation works, as the site is subject to periodic flooding.

During the spring and summer the ponds are home to damselflies and dragonflies, including brown and common hawkers, darters, skimmers and chasers. The damp grassland and pond margins contain a variety of invertebrates that attract birds such as lapwings, common snipes and ringed plovers. The dark, bare earth warms up in the summer, creating special conditions for unusual plants and burrowing insects such as beetles, wasps and bees. Letchmire Pastures forms part of the green corridor in the Lower Aire Valley in Leeds which is owned by Leeds City Council and managed in partnership with the Trust.

Seasonal highlights

  • Spring:  Invertebrates - Broad-bodied chaser; Birds - Lapwing
  • Summer: Plants - Bee orchid; Grass vetchling; Stork's-bill; Wood small-reed
  • Autumn: Birds - Reed bunting
  • Winter: Birds - Snipe


Public transport
Regular buses run from Leeds city centre to Allerton Bywater. Alight on Station Road. 

By car
Take the A656 north out of Castleford and turn left into Allerton Bywater on Station Road. Letchmire Pastures is along this road on the left. Parking is on the roadside only.