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Lying in an area of rich farmland, with the Hull to Doncaster railway line and roads forming boundaries, this reserve of approximately 5.5 hectares is in two parts: 4 hectares to the south-east of the railway line and 1.5 hectares to the north. About half is open water, the remainder a mixture of reedbeds and open pools. The open water has an average depth of 1.5 metres.
The reedbeds consist mainly of common reed, bulrush and lesser bulrush (or reed mace). The principal interest of the reserve is the water, rich in nutrients causing excessive plant growth, which gives rise to a large and varied micro-fauna. One hundred and twenty six species of bird have been recorded since 1974 including 10 species of duck, notably teal and pochard. Great crested and little grebes have also bred.
Other sightings have included bearded tit, bittern, marsh harrier, osprey, great reed warbler, garganey, water rail, green sandpiper and cormorant. Mammals found on the reserve include water vole and harvest mouse. The bittern could, with luck, be seen on passage in winter.
The primary aims of management are to keep the ponds and reedbeds in their present form and condition and to control the encroachment of willow.
The reserve was established in 1972 and is now owned by the Trust.
Parking on lane
Public houses and shops in Howden and Laxton.
Open all the time
Open every day, all year round.
Please contact for more information.
SE 782239 53.70568 -0.81682
Saltmarshe Delph is about two-and-a-half miles south-east of Howden. By car, turn off the A614 at the roundabout signed Kilpin and Laxton. Take the Skelton road and proceed through the village. Turn left away from the River Ouse just before the railway swing bridge. The reserve is about 400 yards along the road to Saltmarshe. The gate to the main pond is on the left just after passing under the railway bridge. Park on the lane on the left about another 300 yards further on. The main pond can be viewed from this lane or the road. A gate by the railway bridge gives access to a path to a viewing hide. For the Willow Garth section, walk back under the bridge and the entrance is on the left through the hedge, after about 90 yards.
- Children welcome
- Disabled access
- Smoking not allowed