Waitby Greenriggs Nature Reserve

Waitby Greenriggs Nature Reserve by Dave DunfordThis four hectare reserve is a disused railway line and its embankments. It lies in the upper Eden valley and has views to Mallerstange Edge and Nine Standards Rigg. Underlying the reserve is carboniferous limestone.

More than 210 species of flowering plants have been officially recorded on the reserve. April to September is the best time to visit to see the largest number of plants. Blue moor-grass and cowslip are first on the agenda. In April wild strawberry, wood anemone, and early purple orchid lend their colours to the countryside. By May bird's eye primrose, kidney vetch, and red valerian are in bloom.

Marsh Helliborine flower by David PackmanIn June northern marsh, common spotted, fragrant, lesser butterfly, and frog orchids come into their own. Also in June globeflowers, salad burnet, meadow cranesbill, and ox-eye daisies can be enjoyed.

By July flowers in bloom consist of marsh hellborine, yellow rattle, meadowsweet, harebell and restharrow. August sees devil's bit scabious and autumn gentian make their appearances.

Rabbits are numerous on the reserve. Frogs like the old track-side drains while buzzards and tawny owls take to the air overhead. Warblers like the woods in summer, and in winter long-tailed tits find the hawthorn hedges tasty. The 17 species of butterfly include the ringlet and dingy skipper.Harebell flowers by Graeme Dougal

Map Reference:OS 1:50,000
Sheet No 91
NY 760 085
Open to members and non-members.
Take turning marked Smardale south of Kirkby Stephen rail station from A685. Then take right hand turning for Waitby, going under railway bridge and turning right at junction. .75 further on is the reserve. Park of left before the bridge.rve.

Photos courtesy of David Packman , Dave Dunford Geograph UK and Graeme Dougal

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