Bird Ringing Event for members on Sunday 19th March

Unfortunately, the Eastern Dales Ringing Group have had to postpone the demonstration ringing event which was planned for Sunday 19th March because of a very poor weather forecast. They are hoping to re-schedule for Sunday 26th March starting at 10 am.

Bird walks on Sunday 5th February

On Sunday 5th February members are invited to join bird survey walks in the Reserve and the surrounding area. There are 3 different walks on offer.

Walk 1. Meet Rob Adams at North Bridge at 08:30 am on the north side of North Bridge opposite the Trailer Centre for a walk along Ure Bank, Little Studley Meadow and then if time permits Ripon Loop. This is likely to take all day but visitors who want a shorter walk can leave at three different stages during the day. Birds likely to be seen are thrushes, wildfowl and some waders.

Walk 2. Meet Will Rich in the High Batts upper car park at 09:00 am. Double up in cars and then drive to West Tanfield from where the walk will follow the river back to the High Batts on the Public Right of Way. Participants will pass through Slenningford (viewing the outcropping limestone, the defunct mill system, site of the East Tanfield ‘black death’ village and, from a distance, the raised Ox Bow lake in Jetty Wood) – birds we will be on the lookout for will include dipper, grey wagtail, goosander and little egret. The entire walk should take just over two hours.

Walk 3. Meet Colin Slator in the High Batts car park at 07:30 am for two hours hide watching in the Reserve. Then around 09:30 if anyone else would like to join a walk onto Ripon Parks on the Public Rights of Way – they can join at this stage. At about 13:00 we shall return to the reserve and lunch in the hides, before watching out late afternoon for any roosting birds coming into the area. People can come or go from the upper car park at either 09:30 and/or 13:00. We will be on the lookout for birds coming to the feeders (tits, woodpeckers, nuthatch, finches and tree sparrow), ducks and waders on Ripon Parks and birds going to roost on Bellflask at dusk.

There is no need to book for these walks. Participants should bring any required food and drink, warm and waterproof clothing and binoculars and scopes. No dogs allowed, please. Children under 16 only allowed with parental supervision. For all the walks you will need a basic fitness. If for any reason the river shows sign of topping then the organisers reserve the right to cancel all the walks at whatever stage they think appropriate.

Autumn/winter lectures 

High Batts Nature Reserve runs an Autumn and Winter Programme of talks and slideshows. These are open to members and to non-members and the venue is The Golden Lion in Ripon, commencing 7.30 pm. Entry costs £2.00.  Our forthcoming programme is as follows:-

17th October 2016:         Whitfield Benson:  “Britain in Focus”  – wildlife & landscapes from around the  United Kingdom.

21st November 2016: Howard Jones,  RSPB Investigations Officer:  “From Camo to the Court-room” –  an insight into RSPB Investigations.

5th December 2016:  Doug Simpson :  “Red Kites in Yorkshire”.

6th February 2017:  David & Dorothy Morland:“ A Journey North” – travelling to Shetland.

6th March 2017:  Roger Parrish: “Birding the Dots” –  welcome to Texas.

Members’ muck-in mornings

The two summer Muck-in events have been really successful. Some very useful work has been done, and all the volunteers said they had enjoyed the events.

We are planning two more sessions on Saturday 29th October (grass raking) and Saturday 10th December (coppicing and mince pies). Please put a note in your diary to remind yourself to get in touch to let us know whether you are able to help.  We will be sending out reminders nearer the time to those members who have chosen to be on our email circulation list.


Open Day

We had a hugely successful Open Day on Sunday 3rd July. There were 157 visitors, many of whom had not been to the Reserve before, and who enjoyed guided walks, demonstrations of bats, small mammals, moths, bees, and bird ringing. There were activities for children with quizzes, pond dipping and nest box making being very popular. The weather was delightful, with many visitors staying for a chat and refreshments and a sit in the sun.

Fascinating bats
Visitors at the bird ringing station
Enjoying a natter and a rest