This Local Nature Reserve is a special place both for people and for wildlife.
The Humber Bridge Country Park Local Nature Reserve is a haven for people and wildlife set amongst woods, meadows, ponds and cliffs. The tree covered chalk terraces of the old chalk quarry offer dramatic views over the River Humber and towering Humber Bridge.
The 21-hectare reserve has a valuable mosaic of habitats that supports a wide and varied range of wildlife. Over 20 species of butterfly are recorded on the reserve each year and an important population of great crested newts have made the ponds their home. The bird feeding station is a fantastic place to watch birds through the unique living willow screens and viewing tunnel, specially created by the Friends Group of the reserve.
The reserve is located in the East Riding of Yorkshire close to the urban area of Hull, and is a favourite place to visit to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and enjoy a walk amongst the trees. The Phoenix Sculpture Trail winds its way through the woods and features 10 unique sculptural seats inspired by the special heritage of the reserve. The sculptural seats provide the ideal spot for you to sit and contemplate your surroundings. The reserve also offers three nature trails through the woods, the meadows and around the cliffs. Each trail is distinctively waymarked with hand carved owls, rabbits and frogs to ensure you never get lost!
The Humber Bridge Country Park was declared a Local Nature Reserve in 2002 in recognition of its wildlife value and its importance to the local community. Local Nature Reserves aim to protect places of special interest and provide opportunities for research, education or informal enjoyment.
The reserve has always been a favourite haunt for children and adults and is locally known as Little Switzerland. After the building of the Humber Bridge, the Country Park opened in 1986 so that more people could enjoy visiting this exciting place.
The older history of the reserve can be detected by looking around you! As long ago as the 13th century the area was quarried for chalk, and the old quarry cliff terraces now form the edges of the reserve. Today the reserve is recognised as a Regionally Important Geological Site. The cracks and crevices of the cliffs also offer a multitude of undisturbed microhabitats for wildlife. On Hessle Foreshore the old Black Mill survives as a monument to the reserve’s quarrying past. This Scheduled Ancient Monument was unique to the area in having five sails that powered the grinding stones to transform chalk boulders into whiting. Humber boats carried the high-grade material worldwide.
‘We are unearthing more about the unique history of the site in our Quarry to Country Park project. You will be able to experience the hidden heritage of the reserve by exploring a newly created Chalk Walk heritage trail and see inside the tower of the mill.