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Nature Reserve

North Cave Wetlands

North Cave Wetlands


Six lakes, restored from old sand and gravel workings provide homes for many breeding and wintering birds. Deep water, shallow ledges, islands and reedbed all support different species. Hedgerows, grassland, scrapes, and a small arable field add to the site’s interest.

In Spring the reserve is a hive of activity, with breeding avocet, common tern, little ringed plover, lapwing and redshank. You might also be lucky enough to see migrants such as Temminck’s stint and black-necked grebe. In Summer orchids flower in the grasslands on the reserve and butterflies including brimstone, holly blue and comma can be seen. In Autumn again is a good time to see migrants such as waxwing. While flocks of tree sparrow and siskin gather in the scrub and trees around the reserve. In Winter sees good populations of ducks using the lakes including pochard, shoveler, gadwall and teal.

North Cave wetland is a fantastic example of how an industrial landscape can be restored for the benefit of wildlife. This old sand and gravel quarry is now an amazing place for both beginner and expert birdwatchers, allowing wonderful close up views of waders and wildfowl. Memorable visits can be made in spring when dozens of lapwing, redshank and avocet chicks can be seen scuttling about the reserve.

A circular route with interpretation is available around the reserve, half of which is surfaced and accessible to wheelchair users. There are three hides present, which give excellent viewing of six lakes, including an impressive octagonal turret hide. Two of the hides are wheelchair accessible. The reserve is flat, easy walking, but the unsurfaced paths can become muddy and uneven.

Grounds for outdoor activitiesChildren welcomeDisabled accessDogs not accepted (except guidedogs)Smoking not allowed

Please note that the nearest toilets are located in the local pub in North Cave.

Events at this Venue

date event
Sat 12 Nov Wetland Wildlife


Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

01904 659570


Dryham Lane,
North Cave,
HU15 2PQ



See location of North Cave Wetlands Nature Reserve on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: SE 861325  Lat: 53.78211 Long: -0.69344

From the west leave the M62 at Junction 38 onto the north-bound B1230. Follow this for just under two miles to North Cave village. Take a left turn at the crossroads and follow the road round in a sharp left hand bend at the next cross road. Soon after take a left turn onto Dryham lane, the reserve is located to your right.

Free parking on Dryham Lane, adjacent to the reserve on the south.

Parking: free


  • Grounds for outdoor activitiesGrounds for outdoor activities
  • Children welcomeChildren welcome
  • Disabled accessDisabled access
  • Dogs not accepted (except guidedogs)Dogs not accepted (except guidedogs)
  • Smoking not allowedSmoking not allowed

Please note that the nearest toilets are located in the local pub in North Cave.