Latest News

In at the start project – it’s your chance to vote

Public voting has now opened for the 6 UK projects which are competing in the Quarry Life Award for 2018 and of course one of those projects is ours. If you would like to show your support by voting for us we would be very grateful. The website is not easy to navigate so we have put together some instructions below:-

  1. Go to and click on the Vote for your Favourite Project on the top right of your screen.
  2. Scroll down the resulting page to near the bottom and click on “First time voter? Register” which will take you to a User Account page.
  3. Provide your email address in the box. Read and click to accept the Conditions. Click on ‘I am not a Robot’ and do the picture quiz that comes up.(sometimes the quiz does not happen)
  4. You then receive an email confirming your registration and a link to a screen where you can set your password. When you have done this and pressed Save you will get a page saying that the account has been created.
  5. Go to the top of the page and hover over Projects and choose Participating Projects from the drop down menu.
  6. On the main header panel of the resulting page click on “Any” and choose United Kingdom from the drop down menu – this will take you to the page with the 6 UK projects.
  7. Choose the one you want to vote for (ours is first row -top right) and click on the picture to bring up our page.
  8. Mid page on the left is a row of 5 stars and a summary of the votes cast to date. Hover over the stars and it will tell you what value each star has; click on the number of stars you want to award and if accepted you will see an increase in the number of votes cast.

This seems a lengthy business but looks to be away of ensuring that individuals cannot enter multiple votes for one project. Please do give it a go – it could make quite a difference if our project is seen to have good public support.


It’s been a wonderful year for insects

The hot summer has obviously been good for insects and the Reserve (and Pennycroft which we are monitoring for the In at the Start Project) has been alive with grasshoppers, butterflies and dragonflies. Here are just a few of the picture our monitoring teams have sent in. They are a Comma butterfly, Brown Hawker dragonfly, Red Darter dragonfly, Silver Y moth, and an Elephant Hawkmoth caterpillar.


Muck-in Morning 23rd June

Thanks to all the volunteers who turned out for the bracken and balsam bashing morning. It was warm work but that did not stop them doing a fantastic job as you can see from the before and after pictures.  It was nice to meet some new faces, and have a natter over the refreshment break.  If you fancy joining the fun we have another Muck-in planned for 21st July. The session planned for 7th July unfortunately had to be cancelled.

Open Day 2018

We had 140 visitors to our Open Day on 3rd June.  Lots of families came which was good and meant that the pond dipping. nature quizzes and bird box making was very popular as was the demonstrations of live bats, small mammals and bees.  Our thanks to all those organisations and individuals who helped to make it such a success.


In at the start project

The weather has, not surprisingly, somewhat delayed progress on the site but those of you who have visited recently will have noticed that there has been lots of  tree planting on Pennycroft near the Reserve and beyond.  The top car park has also now been fenced and has only one access/egress point.  We have been working with North Stainley School and on Monday 19th March we had a lovely day when all the children came to the Reserve. We marked the occasion by planting an oak tree on the Pennycroft site.

Our project has become known as IATS and we have various IATS events coming up that you might be interested in  – from evening events to how to identify dragonflies. You can find out about these on the Events page.  To find out about the background to our project visit the In at the Start page.

Pennycroft quarry extension and access to the Reserve – February 21st 2018

There is much work going on near the Reserve as work begins to strip the soil, and to undertake a major tree planting scheme. As a result there is no access to the lower car park and visitors are advised to park at the top car park and not attempt to drive down the track. Also there are lots of heavy vehicles using the track, so please exercise extreme caution when you visit.

In at the Start Project

We are happy to report that the In at the Start project is going well, and we are very grateful to all those who have offered to help. The project is really important in terms of the involvement and data it will generate, and we anticipate it will have importance for the future of the Reserve.  It is not too late to get involved. You can read more about it here.

Happy New Year to all our members, supporters and partner organisations

We hope to see you all at the Reserve or at one of our off-site events at some time during 2018. In the meantime our best wishes for the coming year with a picture taken to remind you of the beauty of High Batts, kindly provided by Pat Rumbold after a New Year visit.

January Pat Rumbold

Closure of the Reserve on 19th December

The West of Yore Hunt will be active around High Batts on 19th December and the Reserve will therefore be closed for the day for safety reasons.

 Closure of the Mound Viewing Area

Would members please note that the Mound Viewing area at the north of the Reserve is closed until further notice because of essential repairs to the access steps.

Members’ Muck-in Morning

Our next Muck-in morning will be on Saturday 7th October 2017 starting at 9.30 am when the task will be coppicing. We would love to see you if you can make it. Drop us an email at to let us know if you are coming.

Winter lectures

The new programme for winter lectures is now available on the Events page.

Members’ Muck-in Morning

Despite dismal weather, 10 members turned out to do some bracken bashing, and they seemed to enjoy it! As you can see, there was plenty of bracken to go at.


From the AGM

The AGM of High Batts was held in Ripon on 9th May at which there were 32 members present. The report of the Trustees for the last financial year highlighted the work which had been undertaken during the year to improve facilities for members and to tackle some very large maintenance jobs such as the dredging of the Hide Pond. Thanks were given to the Thursday group of volunteers, plus the members who had participated in the 5 Members’ Muck-in mornings held during 2016, as well as all those such as Recorders who worked behind the scenes. Kath Beeken,  Peter Hills and Roy Waite elected to serve a further 3 years as Trustees.

After the AGM there was a slide show “High Batts through the year”, featuring pictures of events on the Reserve, and a gallery of wildlife photographs submitted my members.

April Newsletter

The April 2017 Newsletter to members was despatched on 22nd April with a reminder that membership subscriptions for the year are now due. If you have not received your Newsletter or renewal reminder please get in touch.

Annual General Meeting 2017

The AGM for High Batts will be held at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 9th May at St. Wilfreds Community Centre, Trinity Lane, Ripon. After the formal meeting there will be a slide show “High Batts through the year 2016”.  All are welcome.

Members’ Muck-in Morning

Eighteen members, from the young to the not-so-young, turned out on Saturday 29th October for a morning of coppicing, raking, brash piling and bonfiring. The amount of work which was done was fantastic, Colin was extremely pleased,  everyone had a good time and went home a bit tired but happy (we think). Our thanks to all who contributed to a very useful day.  Our next Muck-in Morning will be on Saturday 10th December and we hope to see you there.

Closures for Shoot days

The Shoot has now informed us of the dates when they will be operating around High Batts and on those days the Reserve will be closed to visitors.  You can find the dates on the Closures page.

Closure Saturday 15th October

The Hunt postponed their event on the 8th October and has re-scheduled for Saturday 15th October, and we will therefore have to close the Reserve to visitors on that date until the afternoon. In the afternoon there will be major maintenance work around the stream and pond so visitors are advised that there will be disruption.  Posted 10.10.16

Autumn/Winter lecture programme

Our new programme of events begins in October and you can find all about the dates on topics on the Events page.

July Members’ Muck-in Morning

On Saturday 30th July, a happy band of members spent the morning balsam pulling on the Reserve. The weather was kind, the area covered by the volunteers was impressive and everyone seemed to have a good time. One of our members went home and wrote a blog about Himalayan Balsam and her enjoyable morning and you can read about it here.

Two more Muck-in Mornings are planned and you can find out about them on the Events page.

Open Day

High Batts organises an Open Day each year to which everyone, members and non-members, are invited. This year’s Open Day was on 3rd July and you can read about it on the Events page.

Members’ Muck-in Day

High Batts 28-5-2016 (56 of 126)Sixteen members turned out for a morning of bracken bashing on Saturday 28th May. Although most were novices at the task everyone showed a natural aptitude for it and at the end of the morning Colin Slator pronounced that it was an excellent job. The weather was perfect, the company was convivial and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and enjoyed the refreshments too.

High Batts AGM

The AGM of High Batts Nature Reserve was be held at The Golden Lion Ripon at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 31st May at which a report on the past year was presented, and Trustees for the coming year elected.

The Hotel Hide

The “Hotel” is now fully operational after its conversion to allow use as a wildlife hide. Our volunteers have done a wonderful job and it is a real asset to the facilities on site. Come along and try it out.  Now is a wonderful time to visit the Reserve. The spring flowers are at their best and all the newly arrived migrant birds are singing and showing well. Posted 12th May 2016

Reserve now open

Following the lengthy closure at the start of the year because of the flooding, the Reserve is now open again.   Posted February 3rd 2016

Viewing Platform is now open

The stairs to the Viewing Platform at the northern end of the Reserve have now been repaired and it is therefore open again for members’ use.   Posted Thursday 19th November

Articles and podcasts that might interest you

Colin Slator has recommended a website for the interesting articles and podcasts you can find there on environmental issues. There is currently an article on the proposed re-introduction to Britain of the Lynx, and a series of varied podcasts called “Talking Naturally”.

Ian Wallace; commemorative tree planting

Ian Wallace tree planting

More than 25 people turned out to celebrate the life of Ian Wallace by witnessing the planting by members of Ian’s family of a wild service tree in Seven Bridges Valley, Studley Royal. Ian, who died last year, was for many years Mosses and Liverworts Recorder for High Batts as well as Botanical Recorder for Harrogate and District Naturalists’ Society.

The tree was planted close to the spot where Ian discovered a naturally occurring wild service tree whilst conducting a plant survey for the National Trust. A stone inscribed with a replica of Ian’s signature was laid in the bottom of the hole and the tree was then planted by Ian’s widow Mavis, his son Nigel and daughter Fiona. The assembled company was addressed by Mike Ridsdale of the National Trust, who paid tribute to Ian’s botanical work over many years on the Fountains Abbey/Studley Royal estate. For those wishing to see the tree, it is on the right-hand side of the valley just past the second bridge over the Skell when approaching from the Studley Royal car park.

Will Rich 20th October 2015

Reserve Closures

We have been informed of dates when the shoot will be operating in the area and when the Reserve will therefore be closed. Details are posted on the Reserve Closures page.

Posted 12th September 2015

The Hotel is currently being converted to allow it to be used as a hide. This has involved moving and raising the structure, creating a new access, and doing some essential renovation to the roof, walls and floor.  Although the work is not yet finished, (for example the windows will be replaced to allow opening ones more suited to wildlife viewing,) the building is now in a state where it can be used.

Members therefore can now access the building again other than on Thursdays when the Volunteers’ Team will be continuing to work on the refurbishment.

Posted 11th September 2015