Leyburn Old Glebe Nature Reserve
Know before you go
Parking informationThere is a small parking spot by the entrance gate, or alternatively drive a little bit further along Low Lane and park in the layby on the right hand side of the road and walk back to the reserve.
Grazing animalsA limited number of sheep enjoy light grazing in the winter months
A public footpath crosses the site at its northern end, and connects to Leyburn to the north east and Wensley to the west.
Via gate along Low Lane. Public footpath.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitMay to June
Leyburn Old Glebe is a botanically rich hay meadow which was owned by a local church before it came into Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s ownership in 1983. The site has never been ploughed or re-seeded and has been managed as a traditional hay meadow, which has allowed high botanical diversity to be retained.
The site is a fine example of the type of species-rich flower meadow that would have been common in the Yorkshire Dales before agricultural intensification resulted in the improvement of grasslands.
Over 80 plants have been recorded in recent surveys. Plants of interest on site include salad burnet, wild thyme, fairy flax, cowslips, agrimony and orchids including green winged, common spotted, early-purple, bee, and the nationally scarce burnt-tip.
The best time to visit the site is in May and June when the flowers are at their best and butterflies such as small skipper and common blue can be seen.
In autumn a hay cut will have been taken and sheep will be grazing the field to ensure that botanical diversity within the sward is maintained. Winter is a quiet time at the meadow, but common bird species will still be present within the surrounding hedgerows and you may get to see a stoat passing through.
The site is located on a south facing, gently sloping bank above the River Ure with views over the Yorkshire Dales to Penhill and to the ridge above Coverdale which rises towards Great Whernside. To the north is the wooded limestone scar of Leyburn Shawl.
The reserve's small size makes for a fragile site susceptible to damage, so please enjoy but take care when visiting.
- Spring: Plants -Salad burnet; Cowslip; Green-winged orchid; Burnt-tip orchid
- Summer: Plants - Eyebright; Fairy flax: Invertebrates - Common blue
- Autumn: Birds - Yellowhammer
- Winter: Mammals - Stoat
Buses running between Leyburn and Hawes stop in Wensley half a mile away.
From Hawes take the A6108 to Wensley, then turn onto Low Lane. The nature reserve is on this road.