Lower Derwent Valley National Nature Reserve
The Lower Derwent Valley NNR comprises a series of flood meadows, pastures and woodlands supporting a rich diversity of plant species and outstanding populations of breeding and wintering birds. In light of this, the reserve has been declared a Special Protection Area (SPA) and a Ramsar site.
The site supports a rich breeding bird community with more than 80 species recorded in recent years. Breeding wildfowl are of particular importance, with 13 species found here including the pintail, gargany and gadwall. Breeding waders seen in the area include curlew, lapwing, snipe and redshank.
In winter the grasslands support nationally important numbers of teal, Bewick's swan, wigeon, pochard and golden plover.
The noctule, pipistrelle and Daubenton's bat are seen regularly, with occasional sightings of the brown long-eared bat. Brown hares are very common at the site as are common and pygmy shrew. There is a large population of field voles, and bank and water voles may also be seen.
The individual sites making up the reserve lie in a section of the Derwent river valley between its junction with the B1228 in the north, to the village of Wressle in the south.
The northern end of the reserve is near the village of Sutton upon Derwent, 11 km south east of York.
There are a number of villages within 0.5 to 2 km of the river. From north to south these are: Sutton upon Derwent, Wheldrake, Storwood, East Cottingworth, Thorganby, Ellerton, Aughton, North Duffield, Bubwith, Gunby, South Duffield, Breighton and Wressle, which is served by a train station. By car, these villages are accessed via minor roads from the B1228, A19 and A163.
There are three main access points to the reserve: North Duffield Carrs car park (1.5 km east of North Duffield, off the A163), Bank Island car park, and the nearby Wheldrake car park, both 1 to 1.5 km south-east of Wheldrake, off the minor road from Wheldrake to Thorganby.
Please note: vehicular access to the car parks at Bank Island and North Duffield Carrs is through a height restriction barrier of 2.1m.
The North Duffield Carrs car park has two hides, wheelchair access, ample car parking and bicycle racks. Bank Island has two hides and bicycle racks. Wheldrake has six hides.
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These maps are intended as a guideline only; you must check the exact location of the reserve yourself. Wildlife Extra assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or usefulness of the information on this website.