There’s a little gem nestled away in the Yorkshire countryside. On the border between North and West, at the small village of Fairburn, lies RSPB Fairburn Ings. This place is a great family orientated reserve. Putting nature first and foremost, allowing you to #TreatYourWildSide.
A brief history of the reserve reveals it’s industrial past, integral to the British coal mining operations, based in the Lower Aire Valley. The 1000 acre nature reserve includes a large lake and a number of smaller lakes, ponds and dikes; the area has been the scene of industrial and mining operations for 150 years, and all the water bodies are the result of subsidence of former coal-mine workings, up to 600m underground, providing habitats for wildfowl and many other birds.
The reserve can count Kingfisher, Chiffchaff, Green Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover amongst it’s star species. There’s something quite magical about spotting your first glimpse of a blue and orange flash of the Kingfisher. A resident Marsh Harrier can also sometimes be spotted silently gliding about it’s business. And, in the distance, you may be lucky enough to hear the Bittern booming out his authority. Fairburn also has rarer visits from the likes of the recent Smew. It has also recently (Spring 2017) become the first RSPB reserve to have successful breeding Spoonbill. Three chicks have fledged and are looking amazing just now (04.07.2017). So always something to see, keep an eye on their Recent Sightings page.
There are five hides (Lin Dike – Pick Up – Bob Dickens – Village Bay – Charlie’s) all well worth a visit. The recently opened Coal Tips Trail, puts you on the rooftop of the reserve and encompasses three large reed ponds.
There’s a huge list of events for all the family to enjoy, especially over the school holidays. And Pond Dipping is always a fun attraction for the family, come and find the beasts that lurk beneath!
There’s loads more to do too. So you’ll just have find out for yourselves!
Go visit! Help give Nature a Voice.