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Staveley YWT North Yorkshire

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Peter Curran

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Site Details

This superb Yorkshire Wildlife Trust wetland site lying close to the River Tutt holds year round interest for visitors with regular sightings of Otters and several orchid species among the highlights. Staveley Nature Reserve, formerly known as Staveley Carrs, has been renowned for rare plants for centuries. Today, this large, accessible site has been sculpted through quarrying activities followed by decades of work by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and dedicated volunteers. The site is in two parts; the East Lagoon edged with natural vegetation that was allowed to develop freely comprising of fen, reed swamp and flower-rich calcareous grassland, and the West Lagoons, landscaped with a limited number of trees planted and the rest sown down to pasture, which has since been intensively grazed. The nature reserve is bordered by the River Tutt on its northern boundary and there are footpaths and hides from which to observe the varied wildlife. Small areas of fen are home to several relic species which were once widespread before the carrs were drained and transformed into farmland. Locally scarce species such as Water Violet, Marsh Helleborine and Meadow Rue can be found. Overlooking the East Lagoon, look for bubbles on the water surface along the edge of the reedbeds, or sudden panic among the resting ducks as signs of an Otter's presence. Common breeding birds include summer visitors such as Sand Martin and several species of warbler, with Common Tern breeding on the rafts put out for them. There have been 22 species of damselflies and dragonflies recorded in the main lagoons or the small ponds and ditches. Mammals are well represented with roe deer and fox amongst the larger species and Water Shrew and Harvest Mouse amongst the smaller species. Otter are seen regularly, quite often in the middle of the day, particularly in the East Lagoon. Management of the nature reserve is designed to maintain the site's important habitats of fen, flower-rich grassland, open water, wet pasture and ponds by clearing encroaching scrub, mowing and grazing.

Birding Sites in the Staveley YWT Area

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The BirdGuides Team.

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British & Irish Records Archive Staveley YWT

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