All posts by Steve Parkes

American Signal Crayfish



We discovered this American signal crayfish whilst working on restoring the beck. These were introduced into the wharfe over 20yrs ago and have spread everywhere. Unfortunately they brought a virus with them that our native crayfish are very vulnerable to and are now locally extinct.  I believe this is a large male. It is an offence to remove them from the river as its been discovered that they eat smaller signal crayfish and thereby keep the overall numbers down. They are also a popular food source for our local otters


Thanks to Geraint Evans for more wonderful pics. The kingfisher with the fish in its beak is female, the one drying its wings is a male. Unfortunately their nest was washed out a few days after these shots, but hopefully they will have found another spot


KF female . fishKF male wing


..not a reef but an excellent piece of woodcraft from the workgroup members Steve A and Ian T. Designed to prevent falls into the ditch near the far bench. It has willow whips woven into it that willhopefully root and give it further strength


NEW RIVERSIDE WILD FLOWER AREA Thanks to all our work group volunteers for their hardwork over in March and April  At the spot in the pic we’ve sown a woodland seed mix donated by Wharfedale Naturalists Society. 30yrs ago the area was great for wildflowers but they were largely lost as a dense stand of hawthorns grew. We used the branches to create a natural barrier to keep rabbits and dogs off and to make a more robust barrier above the nearby river cliff to make it safer for our younger visitors174341139_1640585082802447_5909843739433592433_n



Overspill Parking

If you cannot find a space to park in the layby our friends at Moss & Moor have kindly offered for visitors to use their car park. If you do so, please use their lower car park leaving the spaces nearest the garden centre entrance clear for their customers.

CORONAVIRUS Please note the reserve remains open and welcome for local visitors to enjoy as part of their daily exercise routine. Please ensure you comply with government guidelines regarding social distancing.

Our weekend workgroups recommence 10 April 2021

Dogs must be kept under control and on a short lead at all times in consideration for the wildlife, breeding birds in particular and other visitors who may not appreciate your pet approaching them. This will be legally enforced by a Dog Control Order in the coming months

Small Workgroup 23 June

We had our first small Workgroup on since covid-19 lockdown with new Safe working practices in place agreed with Bradford council. Good views of kingfishers, blackcaps and a sparrowhawk a few sand martins nesting, brimstone, ringlet, meadow brown, small tortoiseshell butterflies,. Froglets on riverside path and toads under metal sheet.. Mini meadow looking great. Orchid decline continues now down to less than 30 due to long dry spells over last few years. Great to see more young families enjoying the reserve only one dog..on a short lead

Workgroup 23 June