Launching Ripon City Wetlands, our newest nature reserve

What was once a working quarry has been transformed into a new wetland haven for wildlife, and you can come and take a look for the first time at its grand opening this weekend.

Ripon City Wetlands operated as a working quarry until very recently. Now this site has been transformed into a nature reserve teeming with wildlife.

We're inviting everyone to visit us on our Open Day on Saturday 4th May. You can enjoy a selection of free guided walks and other family activities. The reserve is east of Ripon, next to Ripon Racecourse, and is free to visit.

Find out more about our Open Day

The journey from quarry to wetland started in 2003, when Aggregate Industries bought quarrying rights from Brown and Potter. Following a detailed plan from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Aggregate Industries and the Trust worked with Middlemarch Environmental to design and create the perfect wildlife haven.

We’re proud to welcome the first visitors to Ripon City Wetlands this weekend. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust supports the creation of ‘Living Landscapes’ - wildlife habitats that are bigger, better-managed and more joined-up.

Spring is a fantastic time to visit - the reedbeds are alive with the songs of sedge and reed warblers, while flocks of sand martins fly overhead seeking insects. We also expect to see large numbers of wildfowl and waders, including the iconic and beautiful avocet, little ringed plovers, and tufted and shoveler ducks.
Jonathan Leadley, North Regional Manager
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

The mosaic of habitats at Ripon City Wetlands has been carefully designed to work the very best for wildlife.

The canal reedbeds create the maximum amount of reedbed edge for feeding bitterns (secretive birds who are members of the heron family), and the strip of fen meadow that runs along its edge was made by spreading green hay and hand-collected seeds from our nearby Staveley Nature Reserve.

With careful management through late summer cutting, the Trust hopes a wide variety of wildflowers and plants will flourish here and create the perfect environment for a variety of insects.

We are delighted that our quarry has been turned into such a significant place for wildlife. Sustainability and biodiversity are of the utmost importance to Aggregate Industries, and within that comes the beneficial restoration of sites to benefit the local community and the environment.
Geoff Storey, Estates Manager
Aggregate Industries

On Wednesday 1 May, Guy Edwards from Aggregate Industries and Mike Cooke from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust cut the eco-friendly string to mark the launch of the new reserve.

Mike Cooke and Guy Edwards opening Ripon City Wetlands

Mike Cooke (Chair of Trustees, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust) and Guy Edwards (Aggregate Industries) opening Ripon City Wetlands.

We're looking forward to welcoming our first visitors at our Open Day. For more information on Ripon City Wetlands, including directions and information about the site, see our Ripon City Wetlands nature reserve page.