Country Park Trails map available HERE
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.
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.
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.
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!
The Nature Trail Waymarking Project
The Nature Trail Waymarking Project was carried out on the reserve by sculptor Saffron Waghorn working with local people. The oak waymarkers were individually designed, and participants soon transformed the plain timbers into the beautiful and unique hand carved nature trail posts that guide you around the reserve.
Pupils at Bridge View School in Hessle discovered more about their local woods as they enthusiastically carved a very wise owl and created the wildlife tracks on the waymarkers. Meanwhile, down on the reserve, young people from the training organisation HYA Training, students from Winifred Holtby School and the East Riding Countryside Volunteers continued carving the playful rabbits and grinning frogs.
The project continues the work on the reserve by the East Riding’s Countryside Access Team and was funded by the Waste Recycling Group plc., administered by WREN and npower. The new nature trails opened on the reserve in May 2004.
About the Local Nature Reserve
The Humber Bridge Country Park is one of eleven Local Nature Reserves that were designated in 2002 by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council and English Nature. This new reserve is a fantastic place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, and is a real haven for both people and wildlife.
How to Get Involved in Projects on the Reserve
The reserve is managed by the Countryside Access Team and members of the local community. You can take part in wildlife conservation activities, environmental art projects and wildlife surveys by joining the Friends Group for the reserve.
Please give the team a ring on 01482 395207 or