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Set alongside the Humber Estuary overlooking the iconic Humber Bridge, various short trails around this reserve take visitors from woodland to grassland to poolside habitats. This disused chalk quarry is now covered in chalk quarry walls. In summer, butterflies such as peacocks, red bushes dotted across the reserve. The rarest butterfly on the reserve is the curiously named white letter hairstreak so named because of a white L-shaped letter on its underwing! To see this elusive butterfly you'll need to look high up in the elm trees during July where they lay their eggs.
Explore the Meadow Trail
On the meadow trail you can see many of the butterflies found on the reserve, such as the gatekeeper, meadow brown or comma. Even on a cloudy day you may see a ringlet as it flies over the long grass. The reserve has 22 species of butterflies recorded across the different habitats, and one of the best places to see them is on the distinctive purple buddliea bushes scattered all over the reserve. On sunny days in August you can see literally hundreds of peacock, red admiral, small tortoiseshell and painted lady butterflies gorging themselves on nectar from the flowers.
The rarest butterfly on the reserve is the curiously named white letter hairstreak, so named because of a white L-shaped letter on its underwing! To see this elusive butterfly you'll need to look high up in the elm trees during July. it is here where they lay their eggs as the caterpillars just love to munch the leaves.
Explore the Pond Trail
The ponds are important places for amphibians, and particularly the smaller ponds that completely dry up in the summer. Amphibian offspring in these ponds stand a better chance of survival since there are no predatory fish. Great crested newts are important on the reserve since their numbers in the UK have drastically declined due to habitat loss. British and European laws protect newts from being killed or injured, and you also must not capture, handle or possess these newts. When enjoying your visit to the ponds, please make sure your activities do not disturb the newts or other wildlife here.
Explore the Cliff Trail
The trail explores the tree covered chalk cliff terraces of the reserve, once said to resemble miniature snow covered Alps, and which gives the area its local name of Little Switzerland. The trail passes through woods of ash trees that love to grow on these chalky soils. They can also survive on the cliff walls and ledges by clinging on with their creeping roots over the chalk rock. There really are some staggering trees hanging onto the rocks above you!
Explore the Phoenix Sculpture Trail
The Phoenix Sculpture Trail features ten unique sculptural seats inspired by the special heritage of the area. Each sculpture is made from a different material including locally sourced wood, stone, earth and even steel. Discover Iris overlooking the pond, the Leaf Spirit in the woods or Odonata in the amphitheatre. You will find that each sculpture is hiding a mystery bug! Collect your sculpture trail leaflet at the Tourist Information Centre and play 'Spot the Bug!'.
Open all the time
Also at this Venue
- Disabled toilets
- Picnic site
- Grounds for outdoor activities
- Children welcome
- Dogs accepted
- Facilities for hearing impaired
- Facilities for visually impaired