17) Dearne Valley, Old Moor RSPB, Old Moor Lane, Wombwell, S73 0YF.
Although not a huge site don’t let that put you off from visiting it.
The site occupies around 89 ha, but you can link up to the Trans Pennine Cycle Routes. So, you can add mile after mile and use the centre at Old Moor as your base.
Much of the site is on wide track, some narrower sections but not so narrow to cause you any problems – regardless to what mobility equipment your using. No steps, no stiles and no gates. The site has a couple of small hills but nothing to worry about. There are a couple of wide bridges and a number of bird hides – all are accessible – giving the wheelchair user a good view of the site and bird feeding stations. There are a several ponds that you can get quite close to – but please take care if using mobility equipment as the edge isn’t substantial. It is possible to take part in pond dipping from a wheelchair.
Facilities on site:
Plenty of disabled parking. Blue Badges should be displayed. The Old Moor reserve is managed by the RSPB so it free of charge to park and admission if you are a member. If not, then you may need to pay to enter the reserve.
There is a café and disabled toilets – but due to the pandemic these are currently closed. Also, a safety measure to control the numbers of people visiting it that a large part of the car park is closed – restricting the number of visitors / cars that can be accommodated. If the car park is full you will be turned away. Do check the nature reserves own web site for information regarding a visit – as things and situations are changing week by week.
Only assistance and guide dogs are permitted on the reserve.
What might you see?
Lots of different Gulls, Fowl, Willow Warbler, Hobby, Reed Warbler, Oystercatcher, Mediterranean Gull, Buzzard, Reed Bunting, Sparrow hawk, Green Woodpecker, Bearded Tits, Sedge Warbler, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, Cettis Warbler, Blackcap, Tree Sparrow, Kingfisher, Jay, Ruff, Egrets. If you are very lucky you may also see the Marsh Harrier and elusive Bittern. We were so lucky during our visit to see the Bittern fly back to the reed beds – mocked and chased by gulls. A truly spectacular site.
A nice feature of this reserve is that the staff / volunteers have placed signposts identifying the various and abundant wildflowers that cover the site. Great for insects and crawly things.