North Newbald Becksies Nature Reserve
Know before you go
Grazing animalsYes - cattle are used to graze the pastures during the summer
Limited access for wheelchair users as there are no defined footpaths. Please note wellingtons are advised as the ground is very wet.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitMarch to September
North Newbald Becksies is fed by several clear chalk springs which are almost never known to dry up. The water remains at a remarkably constant temperature of 9°C throughout the year and can be seen steaming on cold winter mornings. The terrain of the nature reserve is fairly undulating and in most areas extremely wet – wellies are a must; though there is a drier section at the north east corner.
Shallow gravel islands have been created in three lakes to provide breeding grounds for little ringed and ringed plovers, avocet, oystercatcher, lapwing and common tern. There is a resident population of tufted duck, gadwall, great crested and little grebe and sometimes shoveler. In spring and autumn small numbers and migrant wading birds pass through. Reed and sedge warblers and reed buntings are common in and around the reedbed and north side of the nature reserve. During winter months keep an eye out for wintering snipe, they are very secretive and hide amongst the clumps of rushes.
In spring visit to see some of the early flowering spring plants such as cowslip, marsh marigold, cuckooflower, bogbean (a rarity in this part of Yorkshire) and water avens. A summer visit shows how much this wetland reserve flourishes, there are stands of honey-scented meadowseet as well as marsh orchid and lady's mantle, yellow rattle in flower. In autumn late flowering devil's bit scabious can be picked out amongst the abundance of vegetation.
Grass of Parnassus was recorded as recently as the mid 1990s and may still be present. Also keep an eye out for water shrews and water voles.
- Spring: Plants - Cuckooflower; Water avens; Bogbean; Marsh marigold; Inverterbrates - Orange-tip
- Summer: Plants - Marsh orchids; Lady's mantle; Watercress; Fool's water-cress; Meadowsweet
- Autumn: Plants - Devil's-bit scabious
- Winter: Birds- Snipe
The marsh was originally used for pasturing cattle from the village while they were waiting to be milked and as such is classed as common land. Today, a small number of cattle are used to assist with site management through summer grazing.
Irregular bus service from Market Weighton to North Newbald village.
Just east of North Newbald village on the south side of the Beverley road, five miles south of Market Weighton. Park considerately in the village (or arrive by bus), and then walk the short distance to the site.