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68) Nosterfield Nature Reserve, West Tanfield, Ripon, DL8 2QZ
from the carpark at Nosterfield Nature Reserve you have two paths to follow, both lead to viewing screens and bird hides. Both paths are linear routes ( there and back again) , the south west path is shorter than the north east heading path. To do both paths and return to the main carpark is approx 2 miles.
(Available optional add on. You can also link up Nosterfield Nature Reserve to the nearby Nosterfield Quarry nature area - this involves getting there by using sections of A and B roads. To include the would extend the route to around 4 miles in total. There is a small parking lay-by on Flask Lane - footpaths woodland path, to get to the far hide involves a hill down and a hill at the other end on loose gravel).
The car park is level, the paths are wide enough for any mobility equipment to pass. Both path routes have an A frame to negotiate but these are wide enough for most scooters and wheelchair / attachment combo's. The North East path has a gentle incline to climb, though the surface is solid and wide.
New route info for different wheeled users:
The main route is suitable for paraplegic and tetraplegic wheelchair users in manual wheelchairs , there is a slight hill on the North East path which might mean you need assistance if unable to self propel or on wheelchair fitness.
All of the reserve is suitable for all powered wheelchairs, front power attachments, such a Batec, and hybrids, mountain trikes, freewheels, e motion type wheels and smart drives etc.
Facilities on site:
A few viewing screens overlooking the lakes, not all have a viewing point for a wheelchair user. All hides are accessible and but have std door widths , there are steps to the main hide but there is a slope so those like I, on wheels can access it. The doors to the hides are quite heavy and open inwards. The hides are spacious except for the burden of heavy (sheepskin covered) bench seats. I am quite strong being a paraplegic and I could not move the bench seats out of the way of reaching the wheelchair viewing bays. So assistance will be to an advantage.
The reserve is free, as is the car parking- there is one Blue Badge parking bay located at then far end near the main hide. No toilets but there is a pub in Nosterfield Village, sadly The Freemasons Arms does NOT have a disabled toilet.
Dogs are permitted but only guide and assistance dogs are allowed in the hides.
for the optional add on see
What might you see?
All types of fowl, inc geese, swan, Heron, Egrets, Lapwing, various waders, song birds. Always worth keeping an eye skyward -during my visit two Peregrine were climbing high ands sweeping down to pick off a bird in flight. The site is visited by Buzzard, Honey Buzzard on occasions, Merlin, Hobby, Marsh Harrier. Recent sightings of Osprey fishing.
There is also an Osprey nesting pole in the nearby Nosterfield Quarry nature area - though none have so far taken up the offer of a free home.
A real bonus of both of these sites is the abundance of flowers and insect attracting bushes both sides of the paths. Dragon and Damselfly, moths and butterfly's seemed to like the site. Their proximity was excellent for myself as a wheelchair user (full-time) as I could get near enough to be able to use my macro lens!
Optional add on to Nosterfields Quarry Nature area,
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