Newbiggin Pastures Nature Reserve
Know before you go
Parking informationLimited roadside parking.
Grazing animalsSheep and cattle grazing.
Please keep to field edges. A visit can be turned into a strenuous circular walk by joining the public right of way at the top of the site and following it down into the village. From here another footpath returns you to the road at the bottom of the valley where you will find a convenient Inn!
Enter via gate on Ellers Lane. This reserve is one continuous and steep uphill slope. Extra care to be taken in very hot or wet conditions, especially when descending back down the slope. No wheelchair access.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times.
Best time to visitMarch to September
Newbiggin Pastures is located in Bishopdale and is a mosaic of habitats including flower rich meadows and upland grassland of the high moors. Stretching from the valley bottom up to the edge of Wassett Fell, you will enjoy spectacular views.
A work in progress, the Trust manages part of the site as a traditional hay meadow with grazing by sheep in the autumn and a hay cut following the seeding of the wildflowers. The rough grassland at the upper end of the site is managed to provide a variety of habitats suitable for upland bird species and volunteers have helped us plant six hectares of woodland including areas of sparse juniper - the preferred habitat of black grouse.
In spring the call of lapwing, curlew and wheatear remind you of the changing seasons. In summer the meadows are rich in flowers including lady's mantle, moschatal, corncockle and agrimony. In autumn the call of the raven can be heard over the site and in winter the juniper comes into its own.
The working agricultural landscape of the Yorkshire Dales can be appreciated from Newbiggin Pastures. The lower fields of the dale are small and enclosed by dry stone walls: these are the traditional hay meadows that would be cut for hay in the summer. Many of these fields have stone barns in which the hay would be stored and cattle housed over the winter. Further up the slope the fields are larger and managed as rough grazing pasture. Higher still and the landscape changes to open moorland managed by light grazing often under commoners rights.
Newbiggins Pastures is grazed by a local tenant, so we ask that you do not disturb the livestock.
- Spring: Birds - Lapwing; Curlew; Wheatear
- Summer: Plants - Lady's matle; Moschatel; Corncockle; Agrimony
- Autumn: Birds - Raven
- Winter: Plants - Juniper
The nearest village with a bus service is Worton, a 20-25 minute walk away. The nearest train station is at Garsdale which is 10¼ miles away.
Turn off the A684 Leyburn to Hawes road onto the B6160/Ellers Lane. Continue on this road for 3¾ miles past West Burton and the Street Head Inn and caravan site. The nature reserve is on your left half a mile after passing the pub. Limited roadside parking. Enter the nature reserve through the field gate.