Nature Trails

Click here for map of the Country Park Trails

The Nature Trails all start at the Mill on Hessle Foreshore, and wind their way through the woods and meadows of the reserve. Each trail is distinctively signed with wildlife waymarkers to help you explore the nature reserve.

Meadow Trail

Length 1.25 km

The shortest trail on the reserve leads through the meadows on surfaced footpaths. Here you can see many of butterflies found on the reserve, such as the meadow brown, gatekeeper, comma or small copper. Even if it is a cloudy day you may see a ringlet as it flies amongst the flowers.  The long grass is also home to wood mice and bank voles that provide a tasty morsel for predators like kestrels, owls and weasels.


The living willow viewing tunnel is a great place to have a rest on your journey and watch the finches, tits, thrushes and robins visiting the bird tables and feeders.

Pond Trail

Length 2.5km

The pond trail guarantees no steps, stiles or steep gradients, and with rest areas every 100 metres it is hoped everyone can enjoy a stroll around the reserve.  The trail leads through the woods to the main ponds. The smaller pond dries up in summer, which makes it a good home for amphibians, as their offspring do not encounter attacks from predatory fish. You may like to follow the trail to the third pond on the reserve that is typically surrounded by willow trees. It is a great place to watch bathing birds and bats feeding in the evening.  Retrace your steps away from the steps to rejoin the main pond trail to return to the Foreshore.

Cliff Trail

Length 3km

This longer 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. Leaving the meadows and ponds behind you, the path climbs along an old quarry terrace. You can take a detour up the 103 steps to the High View Point for a fine view across the River Humber to the Lincolnshire Wolds.  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!

fohbcp secretary,
10 Apr 2011, 03:02